Tweens, Teens, and Magazines (page 3)

— The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
Updated on Feb 18, 2011

Teen Magazine Trends

  • Single-copy newsstand sales of teen magazines have declined substantially in recent years. Since 2001, Teen People dropped 20 percent in newsstand sales, and Seventeen declined by 35 percent.
  • TV crossovers with a potential built-in audience are generally considered safe new launches. For example, MTV recently experimented with two issues of an in-house publication tied to its programming and sold as a stand-alone newsstand title with a circulation of 300,000. Each issue was one of a kind with a different name and a different approach. The magazines covered new film releases, video games, and toys, and it came wrapped in a plastic bag that contained a smaller magazine about new music, along with a multimedia compact disc featuring movie and game trailers and samples of music, games, and movies.
  • Another teen magazine genre becoming more prevalent taps Christian teens who enjoy popular culture. Joining Guideposts for Teens and Brio, are Breakaway aimed at teen boys and Feed targeted to the urban hip-hop culture. The newest launch in this niche is Beautiful Girl, a beauty magazine started in 2003 as a quarterly publication with a companion Web site, both aligned with Christian beliefs designed to inspire teen girls to discover their inner beauty. Like other teen publications, these magazines feature celebrity profiles, entertainment news, health and beauty tips, relationship advice, spiritual guidance, quizzes, and fiction.
  • Teen Internet magazines, or Webzines, are emerging as a forum for teen voices, written by teens for teens. There are as many different types of Webzines as there are print magazines. Some are short-lived, while others outlive their print counterparts. Blue Jean Online, is a creative forum written and produced by teen girls and young women ages 14 to 22 who express their perspective through their writings, reviews, art, photography, and other creative work. Still other Webzines offer a space for cultural diversity to flourish and empower minority youth. One example is the bilingual online magazine Teen Latinitas created for girls ages 15 to 20, started by students at University of Texas to provide culturally relevant content and build a sense of community where girls can communicate with others who have similar sensibilities, interests, and concerns.


1 Teenage Research Unlimited, "Teens Spent $175 Billion in 2003," Press Release, 9 January 2004, http: // (accessed June 1, 2004); Harris Interactive, "Generation Y Earns $211 Billion and Spends $172 Billion Annually," 3 September 2002, allnewsbydate.asp?NewsID=667 (accessed June 1, 2004).

2 Kim Campbell, "Teens Read, and Advertisers See a Green Light," The Christian Science Monitor, 13 September 2001, http://www.csmonitor/2001/0913/p16s1-ussc.html (accessed June 1, 2004).

3 Peg Tyre, "No Longer Most Likely to Succeed: In an Overcrowded Market, Teen Magazines Fight for Their Lives," Newsweek, 19 April 2004, 59, http: // (accessed June 17, 2004).

4 Katherine Stroup, "Cheat Sheet: Teen Magazines," Newsweek, 10 February 2003, 74.

5 Jon Fine, "Looking to Rebuild: G&J to Cut Rate Base for 'YM' by 25," Advertising Age, 29 March 2004, 3.

6 Magazine Publishers of America, "Fact Sheet: Circulation for ABC Magazines, 2003," content/Files/2003allabccirc.xls (accessed June 4, 2004).

7 David Carr, "Reinventing Seventeen with a View Toward Middle America," The New York Times, 24 November 2003.

8 Bauer Publishing, (accessed June 15, 2004).

9 "Teen Magazine," m/teen%20magazines (accessed June 12, 2004).

10 Girls' Life, (accessed June 14, 2004).

11 Bonny Norton, "When Is a Teen Magazine Not a Teen Magazine?" Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 45, no. 4 (December 2001/January 2002), publications/jaal/jaal0112.html (accessed June 14, 2001); Jeff Lemberg, "Two Magazines Deliver Teen Voices as They Really Are," Women's eNews, 5 April 2002, http: // (accessed June 14, 2004).

12 "She's Hip, She's Smart, She's Unique, She's… ‘Latin Girl,'" 23 October 1998, archieve/october23/girl.htm (accessed June 14, 2004). Latin Girl was listed as defunct in Magazine Publishers of America, "Fact Sheet Industry News and Resources: Defunct and Suspended Magazines, January–December 2001," nance_and_operations/ fi nance_operations_trends_and_magazine_handbook/ 1488.cfm (accessed June 14, 2004).

13 Blackgirl Magazine, (accessed June 14, 2004).

14 SuperOnda Media Kit, advertise/mediakits/mediakit.asp?mediakitid=18&divisionid= 2 (accessed June 15, 2004).

15 Scholastic Teen Magazine Network, http:// (accessed June 14, 2004).

16 Mark Harvey, "Magazines: Let's Hear It for the Boys," American Demographics 20, no. 8 (August 2000): 30.

17 E-mail correspondence and telephone interview with Sam Belil, Director of Research, Dennis Publishing, 14 June 2004. Based on 2004 MRI data, 18- to 20-year-old audience composition for Maxim is 2,254,000 and for Stuff is 983,000.

18 Harvey.

19 Magazine Publishers Association, "Fact Sheet Industry News and Resources: Defunct or Suspended Magazines, January–December 2001."

20 Sports Illustrated for Kids Media Kit, http:// (accessed June 15, 2004).

21 Jeff Gremillion, "Where the Boys Are," Brandweek 40, no. 5 (1 February 1999): 36.

22 Boys' Life Media Kit, editions.html (accessed June 14, 2004).

23 Magazine Publishers of America, "Fact Sheet: Circulation for ABC Magazines, 2003."

24 "Teen Targets: A Look at Where Advertisers Are Reaching Teens, on Television and in Magazines," Adweek Magazines Special Report 44, no. 42 (27 October 2003): 28.

25 Larry Dobrow, "Simmons Measures Teen Readers," MediaPost's Media Daily News, 18 June 2003.

26 Donald Roberts and Ulla Foehr, Kids & Media in America (NY: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

27 SmartGirl and Young Adult Library Services (a division of the American Library Association), Survey Archives, Teen Read Week 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, http:// (accessed May 14, 2004).

28 SmartGirl and Young Adult Library Services, Teen Read Week 2001, trw/trw2001.html (accessed May 14, 2004).

29 Nancy Signorelli, "A Content Analysis: Refl ections of Girls in the Media," The Kaiser Family Foundation and Children Now, April 1997.

30 Ibid.

31 David Carr, "On Covers of Many Magazines, a Full Racial Palette Is Still Rare," The New York Times, 18 November 2002, C1.

32 Magazine Publishers of America, Market Profi le: Teenagers! (NY: Magazine Publishers of America, 2000), (accessed June 4, 2004).

33 The Taylor Research & Consulting Group, Taylor Kids Pulse: Where the Wired Things Are, as cited in Teen Media Monitor: Teen Girls, The Kaiser Family Foundation 2, no. 1 (October 2003).

34 Lisa Duke and Peggy Kreshel, "Negotiating Femininity: Girls in Early Adolescence Read Teen Magazines," Journal of Communication Inquiry 22, no. 1 (1998): 48–72.

35 Lisa Duke, "Get Real! Cultural Relevance and Resistance to Mediated Feminine Ideal," Psychology & Marketing 19, no. 2 (February 2002): 211–233.

36 Jeremy Lee, "Teen Magazines," Campaign, 20 February 2004.

37 Harris Interactive and Teenage Research Unlimited, Born to be Wired: The Role of New Media for a Digital Generation, A New Media Landscape Comes of Age, Executive Summary, promo/btbw_2003/btbw_execsum.pdf (accessed May 14, 2004).

38 Aimee Deeken, "Teens Tell All," Adweek 44, no. 46 (24 November 2003): IQ6.

39 Magazine Publishers of America, Market Profi le: Teenagers!

40 Deeken.

41 Greg Lindsay, "Ask Not What Your Teen Magazine Can Do for You, But…," Folio 30, no. 15 (1 December 2001):14; Elizabeth Canning Blackwell, "What Do Teens Really Want," North Shore Magazine, as cited in Teenage Research Unlimited, NewsView.cfm?edit_id=60 (accessed June 6, 2004).

42 David Handelman, "Fresh Faces: Teen Magazines Change with the Times," Brandweek 42, no. 39 (22 October 2001): SR8.

43 Lindsay.

44 Paul Colford, "Column," New York Daily News, 20 February 2004.

45 David Carr, "MTV Gives Magazine a Remix," The New York Times, 20 October 2003.

46 Guideposts for Teens, (accessed June 14, 2004).

47 Brio, (accessed June 14, 2004).

48 Breakaway, (accessed June 14, 2004).

49 Feed, (accessed June 14, 2004).

50 "New Teen Magazine Lets God Be Stylist," 24 July 2003, (accessed June 14, 2004).

51 Blue Jeans Online, (accessed June 14, 2004).

52 "Bilingual Latina Girls Magazine Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary with Launch of Teen Version," FindLaw: Legal News and Commentary, 26 March 2004, http:// (accessed June 14, 2004). Additional copies of this publication (#7152) are available on the Kaiser Family Foundation's website at

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