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MONITORING
April 18, 2011
Мagazines Flourishing On Grey Background of Newspapers in Armenia
By Gayane Mirzoyan
For JNews.am
Мagazines Flourishing On Grey Background of Newspapers in Armenia

The number of entertainment magazines in Armenia is growing, while editors of the dailies complaining from the low level of reading. According to the RA Ministry of Justice over the last 3 years 52 new entertainment newspapers and magazines were issued in Armenia. And this is only 4 percent of the total number of 1,159 state registered print media, 759 out of which are newspapers and 364 magazines.

The market of glamorous magazines in Armenia has been developing since 2004. Just then magazines like “Afisha”, “Elite Life”, “Yerevan” started to be published.

Later, their number will increase dramatically and they will promote mainly luxury lifestyle - expensive cars, clothing and European brands, and importantly, all for an exclusive, special reader.

Meanwhile, because of a small market, which in practice is limited to pan-Armenian capital, only a small number of these magazines succeed in achieving a stable position. According to Hasmik Shamtsyan, the editor-in-chief of the “Design Delux”, the magazine content is not restricted to the topics dictated by its name. “We try to gather a big auditorium of readers both among the specialists and non-specialists in the field of design. That is why we write not only about architecture and design but also about cultural events,” says Shamtsyan.

Entertainment magazines, circulation of which does not mostly exceed 5,000 copies, are sold at 800-2,500 drams (about $2-7) in newsstands (dailies in Armenia cost 100-150 drams (less than half a dollar) and contain a limited number of paid announcements). However, while looking through many of these magazines, often one has an impression that the editorial works for the advertiser rather than for the reader: there are too many promo-texts and advertising there. This is conditioned by the fact that part of the published magazines is distributed in restaurants, bars, cafes, beauty salons and other public places. “It is impossible to provide income only via sale of magazines. The main profit comes from the advertisers, whereas the selling percentage is rather low,” says Ilya Mantarlyan, who founded the “Night People Yerevan” magazine on the life of Yerevan at night, in 2004.

According to Ilya selling is only part of the PR-campaign. “Of course, it suits the advertiser for the magazine is distributed free of charge and not remain in newsstands,” he says. Today owners of many Armenian magazines try to find ways to the international market, Russia, USA, Georgia, to develop their business and be competing. Ilya Mantarlyan is one of them. At present he publishes the “Inside Georgia” bilingual magazine (Georgian/English) in Tbilisi.

While comparing the two neighboring countries, Ilya notices that there are some major brands, at the same time weighty advertisers, in Yerevan but lacking in Tbilisi.

“On the other hand there are favorable bases for tourism, rest and entertainment in Tbilisi, developing year after year,” he adds.

 Founder of the magazine on memorable sights of Georgia intends to contain also information about Armenia. “We would like to represent Armenia to the Georgian reader who is less informed on our country, thus attracting also Armenian advertisers. This way our magazine may become a bridge between the two countries,” says Ilya.

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For Armenian media business 2011 was marked by the appearance of the well-known American magazine “Cosmopolitan”. According to representatives of this market the first Armenian brand magazine will by all means contribute to the development of the market. “My colleagues, owners of the local magazines, agree that emergence of global brands in the market will help increase the price of advertising,” says Mantarlyan.

Until now the highest price for advertising has been dictated by the Russian language magazine “Yerevan” (the editorial offices are in Moscow and in Yerevan) with circulation of 120,000 copies and distributed in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia and USA. Advertising cost of this magazine per page is about $11,000 and cover advertising, more than 21,000 dollars. In local magazines, for example in “El Style”, advertising cost per page ranges from 130-640 dollars, and reaches up to 2,300 dollars for advertising on the first page.

Armenian “Cosmo” will play by its own rules: the representatives say that the advertising price should be higher than in other magazines and the cost of the magazine more accessible (small and big versions of “Cosmo” are already sold at 1,000 and 1,300 drams (about $3-3, 5) respectively in newsstands).

“We do our best for the “Cosmopolitan” in Armenia is accessed by all the young women of our country,” says Hrachuhi Utmazyan, the chief editor of the magazine (daughter of the RA national artist Arthur Utmazyan).

The first edition of the magazine totaled 5,000 copies was published in March, 2011 and will not be distributed free of charge.

“Armenian magazines are best succeeded to sell 3,000 copies. We wish to overcome this limit. On average 5 readers are intended per magazine,” says Utmazyan.

Neverthless, the number of subscriptions in Armenia remains unchanged, 400 copies annually. This was told by the director of “ArmPress” company Arshaluys Manukyan who deals with newspapers’ subscription.

“Over the last years many organizations, related to financial crisis, have been decreasing their subscription expenses, and we can hardly preserve the same level. However, today scientific and professional magazines from Russia are of great demand,” says Manukyan.

 Source:  JNews.am

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