Hachette sets its sights on capturing a new readership

By Alyson Fixter

Hachette’s new women’s magazine, Psychologies, launches this week
aiming to offer an alternative read for women who are sick of celebrity
gossip and fashion tips.

The title, which is deliberately swimming against the tide of
current publishing trends, is based on the French magazine of the same
name.

Editor Maureen Rice said she aimed to sell 100,000 copies a
month within a year, which would put the title at the bottom end of the
women’s market in terms of sales, alongside titles like Harpers &
Queen and Essentials.

Hachette has already insisted that the
title is not a “self-help glossy”, saying instead that it is aimed at
“Third Wave Women” who are prioritising their personal lives and are
“motivated by how they can make their lives more fulfilling”.

Rice,
who worked on the launches of InStyle and Eve magazines, said: “There’s
too much homogeneity in the market at the moment, it can stand to take
something different from celeb weeklies.

“We think about half [of
Psychologies readers] will be existing magazine readers and half will
be new readers who don’t read or have stopped reading magazines.”

She
said that although the stated age target for the title was 30 to 55,
she was more interested in the “psychographic profile” of the reader,
who would be interested in finding fulfilment through understanding
herself and others around her.

She added : “I hope in terms of
tone we can get the best of what women’s mags do and combine it with
what these women love in supplements and newspapers, which is a more
in-depth journalistic approach.

“We’re focusing on relationships
of all kinds, with friends, partners, and families, and on lots of
different approaches to emotions.”

Rice said that some of the pop
psychology available in the media could be “dodgy and even damaging”,
but that Psychologies’ writers would do “research in the right places”.

The
first issue puts Meg Ryan on the cover talking about her approach to
growing older, and includes articles ranging from “The Revenge Of The
Introvert” – on how reserved people can survive in a society for the
outgoing – to tips on how readers can improve their relationships with
their mothers.

In France, the ten-year-old title sells more than
350,000 copies a month, putting it in the circulation bracket of UK
titles like Marie Claire and Woman & Home.

Rice said: “Where we differ from the French version is we’re quite pragmatic in how to use the information in our own lives.

“But if you look at it it’s very different from what’s out there at the moment. There’s a lot of copy.”

Launched on 7 September, the title will be priced at £2.50, rising to £3.

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