Music magazine evaluation
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In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?And how does your media product represent particular social groups?
My magazine is specifically designed towards a target audience of late teens and young adults. The music magazine includes a varied music genre with bands and artists that a younger audience will know as very iconic and famous, something which many younger people have commented as a preference in a music magazine. My front cover includes many key conventions of a standard music magazine, it includes a main photo taking up most of the page which I decided to sharpen and make it look brighter in order to stand out, I think it makes the photo look more professional and particularly suits the young audience I am aiming the magazine towards. I also made the red in the photo stand out by using a specific program to edit it (Gimp); this works well as one of the main colours in my magazine is red as well as bright green. I used this colour scheme because my audience chose it as the most suited for the magazine. The photo does not have a genre of music related to it either which also helps as I did not want my magazine to be associated with any particular style of music. I have decided to have the artist in the photo remain eye contact, this is so the reader feels somewhat connected to them. The cover lines i have used help show to the audience that they are getting there moneys worth with words such as ‘exclusive’ in a fairly big font so as to stand out. I included a banner over my front cover image as many big music magazines do because it informs the audience of the important article inside that they must read.
Typical conventions of a contents page include images of the main story and other photos that relate to articles later in the magazine, page numbers are also important in a music magazine because it helps the reader know where to look for particular articles and stories. I have included both of these important factors in my magazine purposely trying to fill the contents page this is because if it appears more full the audience feels like they are getting more for their money and are therefore more likely to buy it. In my contents page I also include a competition a main feature of most magazines, readers will have to buy the magazine in order to participate even though they know they may not necessarily win so I included a competition to see a famous artist perform live. A double page spread should include a large image of the artist taking up most of the page and a large amount of writing on that particular person or group, I decided to do an interview in my magazine. I included the word ‘exclusive’ here as well so the audience feel like they are getting secret, new information on the particular artist; this is also useful because in real music magazines a main music act is put on the front cover so particular members of the audience that like the particular act will specifically buy the magazine to read the information on them. For my three pages I used more images than text which suits my audience because they are young it is stereotypical that they would prefer to look at photos than to read so I included less text. The text I did include; the interview, the headline and cover lines are all informal, fun and simple to read. Overall I have decided to stick to most of the typical conventions of best selling music magazines and keep the magazine looking realistic (suggested by audiences) because they are all successful and obviously sell a lot to their target audience.
What kind of media institution might distribute your media product and why?
The type of media institution that may want to distribute my music magazine is Bauer Consumer media; this company also distributes music magazines like Q, Kerrang and Mojo. These three magazines focus on the same genre of music as I have focused on for Loud! I think this company would be good for my magazine because they are one of the biggest music magazine institutions and they are very good at selling magazines similar to mine. They would also be a good company in helping to advertise the magazine and make it stand out for the particular target audience attracted. Bauer Consumer media would want to distribute my magazine because it covers a variety of music genres from the past and present that will suit everyone’s music taste. Also Loud! are eager to promote new upcoming bands and give any information to the readers on their favourite bands all they have to do is visit the website and look up artists, news and events.
Loud! is aimed at an audience between 15-17 late school students and college students and these readers will be interested in a wide genre of music old, new, signed and unsigned artists. Readers will have an interest in concerts, gigs, celebrities and follow local bands and artists regularly as well as having an interest in modern well-known artists. The target audience will fit in a C1/C2 socioeconomic group who can afford to buy the magazine on a regular basis, they will also be able to enter the competitions inside. The magazine will be aimed at both genders so will include equal information on male and female artists; the magazine is aimed at a younger audience so will use less sophisticated, informal words.
Loud! includes many different features which attracts my target audience, cover lines on the front cover inform the reader of information this magazine has and that you have to buy the magazine to read what is inside; it also makes the reader feel that they will only find the information in Loud! magazine because of the word ‘exclusive’ no other magazine will have this information. I have also included many different artists on the front cover of my magazine so that readers will know what to expect inside and the range of music talents from old acts to new acts will attract a wider range of my audience. Another aspect I have included in my magazine to attract my target audience is by including quotes in my article; this helps capture the readers attention because they read the quote and want to continue reading to see what it refers to. I used direct eye contact in my photo to attract attention to the page and to continue reading the whole magazine. I decided to use informal language for my target audience so they feel comfortable with the magazine and can relate to it therefore they will want to continue purchasing Loud! because they can understand the fun language and enjoy reading the magazine; this is especially a good thing as it is targeted at younger teenagers. I used a type of cliff hanger on the front cover so the audience will want to open the magazine and read on to see what the main article is specifically about. Furthermore my magazine front cover suggests a theme of fun, young and modern with articles written about newcomers, oldies and even comebacks. This is shown with the masthead, it is large and bold so it is clearly seen with lightning bolts through the letters which makes the magazine look ‘cool’ and loud like thunder and lightening. Inside there is also a competition to win a trip to Manchester to watch a new modern band for free which will definitely appeal to the target audience.
To create my magazine I have used a large variety of programs and software to make my magazine look professional and stand out against the rest. I found using a blog very effective it was easy to edit work, make important changes without losing the entire piece, it was also very easy to upload images of my magazine pages and images off the internet to help show comparisons and similarities and allowed me to update my progress whilst creating the magazine. Another program I used was publisher to actually construct my music magazine; I found it simple to use as it was easy to make changes and move parts of my magazine around to make it look better and suit the page i also learnt other features on how to make the double page spread on publisher and some editing styles such as brightening the image. Another thing I learnt how to do on publisher was that if the piece is saved as a JPEG then it can be uploaded onto the blog as an actual image.
I used a digital camera to take the images and experimenting with its own editing styles such as black & white and retro settings and I used Gimp to edit them further. I found this graphics software very useful in editing my photos and I have now learnt how to use it properly; how to crop photos, edit their colours, how to brighten the image, how to sharpen the image and other minor changes to the photos.
An internet tool I used was poll.com this helped me to create a poll and upload it onto my blog and enabled me to gain some feedback off my audience, helping to make final decisions and improve my work accordingly.
By creating the preliminary task I have been able to understand more clearly key conventions of a professional-looking music magazine and it has enabled me to create this is my final piece. Looking into the colour scheme in more detail has helped this; just by choosing the wrong colours for a magazine it can make it look cheap and tacky. For my music magazine I chose colours that compliment each other rather than choosing random colour. I also decided not to edit the original photos taken in the preliminary task which made the magazine look too plain and ordinary; however in this magazine I decided to experiment with different editing tools and found that just by changing the brightness of the image made the whole magazine look more professional.