IPC is hoping to increase its foothold in the music sector with a magazine launch and a complete overhaul of dance music title Muzik.
Staff on Muzik are gearing up for the major relaunch in the new year. The move will be overseen by new editor Conor McNicholas, who joined from Mixmag in August.
Although he does not intend to make any changes to staff, he told Press Gazette: "There are huge changes ahead. We will be totally relaunching in the first quarter of next year. We have got some quite clever design ideas and we are hoping to shake things up a bit." McNicholas said the whole magazine would be looked at, including the design, logo, format, content and the way CDs are cover-mounted.
"I think Muzik has lost a bit of focus over the past 18 months and we are taking it back to its roots – very much like a dance music Q," he said.
McNicholas is hoping to reposition the title to target a predominantly male audience. "The vast majority of readers are male and it is pointless trying to present a unisex magazine when we aren’t."
He said Muzik would continue to target "cool, trainspotter types" – people who are obsessive about their one-off 12-inch imports – and he hoped the magazine would remain "an authority" on dance music.
The title will also feature more articles about other issues surrounding music, such as how to buy a decent music centre, he said.
Muzik reported an ABC of 44,219 in August, showing a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.
IPC is also in the process of recruiting a team for the launch of a music magazine aimed at the youth market.
The title, which promises to be at the "cutting edge" of music, is looking for news reporters, an art editor and a picture editor.
Some music industry insiders have speculated that it could have a garage or R&B bias.
Malik Meer, former features writer on Ministry magazine, is known to be among those working on a new music project.
Publishing director Robert Tame said the idea was a team effort. He suggested the launch would not be linked to either the dance or heavy metal sectors and claimed the recent boom in sales of heavy metal titles was "a bubble waiting to burst".
He added: "It is too early to talk about it. It is very competitive out there."
By Ruth Addicott