Popworld plans to meet music needs of over-16s

Popworld: on news-stands in April

Former Smash! Hits editor Gavin Reeve is to edit a new music magazine founded by former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller.

Popworld is planning to target teenage music fans aged 16 and over and is due to launch on news-stands in April.

The 100-page monthly will feature exclusive interviews, reviews and fashion. But Reeve claims there will be no “cheesy thumbs-up” photos or pink backgrounds and its design will have more in common with Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone than Top of the Pops.

“People who expect to just find normal teen fodder such as S Club Juniors, Blue and Westlife will be shocked. I think people will be blown away by the pictures and amazed they are not being spoken down to – there will be a really broad range of stars,” he told Press Gazette. “The age group we are talking about are buying gossip, style and celebrity magazines, which is fine, but they are one of the largest sections of music buyers and they haven’t got a music magazine,” he said.

The first issue will have a print run of 185,000 and Reeve is hoping for sales of 140,000 to 150,000.

Popworld is published by the multimedia music brand launched by Fuller and Robert Dodds in 2000 and is part of a joint venture with GE Magazines. The title is hoping to attract fans of the weekly Popworld TV show on Channel 4, which claims to draw an audience of more than a million, and of the website, which has more than 500,000 members.

The magazine has a 12-strong editorial team – most of whom have already “cut their teeth” on the website, Reeve said. Davydd Chong (ex-Record Mirror, Smash! Hits and The Face) is deputy editor, and Marie-Claire Giddings (ex-Mizz) and Jo Green (ex-Big! and FHM) are assistant editors.

There will not be much overlap between the magazine and website, however. “Obviously, news is a daily event and if a tour is being announced or a band is splitting up, that’s where the site is fantastic as the internet is the only medium that can cope with that speed of change. The magazine will be far more in-depth, sophisticated and glamorous,” Reeve said.

“There isn’t a single music magazine that is a broad, mainstream music magazine aimed at people over 12 and there is a huge difference between someone of 10 and someone of 15 or 16. NME is a great student, indie, rock magazine but if you take all the winners at The Brits and people like Justin Timberlake, Pink, Ms Dynamite and Eminem, there isn’t a single magazine that could write about all those.”

By Ruth Addicott

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