Creative Media Production - Exemplar - assessment 1.1

Type of production

After considering other options, such as a podcast, it was decided that a quarterly magazine called _______ should be produced. This will be available as a print version and in a pdf format. Additionally, a website will be created to promote the magazine.

Detailed planning is a vital stage when setting up the actual production, so pre-production processes need to be carefully considered. The following essential aspects of pre-production will be fully covered: finance, timescale, personnel, facilities, materials, contributors, locations, and codes of practice and regulations. As well as explaining why each of these aspects are required, this report will also explain where relevant information can be found.


Finance is an incredibly important aspect of any media production, especially for magazines. The magazine industry has been in decline for a number of years, with fewer and fewer titles appearing in retail outlets. The Press Gazette reported last December that sales of magazines has fallen by 6.3 per cent, year on year (

In a challenging economic climate, it is even more essential that full consideration is given to all financial aspects of the proposed production. Firstly, it is necessary to look at potential sources of income. That will be followed by analysis of expected expenditure.


Consideration has been given to a number of different potential sources of income, including: advertising, sponsorship, subscription fees, cover price, sales and rental charges. These aspects will be covered in the order stated above.


It is anticipated that it will be difficult to secure advertising initially, as the magazine will take time to establish itself on the market place. Therefore, it is proposed that the magazine should approach potential advertisers and offer free advertising for the first 6 months. Thereafter, a fee could be charged for inclusion in the magazine. A rate card will need to be produced at that point, so advertisers can choose the size of advertisement that suits their budget best. The Evening Standard has produced a rate card ( for its weekly magazine, ES. Likewise, Hello Magazine has produced an online rate card that reflects their huge circulation: (

Unlike those publications, the proposed magazine cannot offer accurate information about its circulation at this stage of its development. For that reason, the fees publicised on the rate card will be a fraction of what can be found on ES and Hello.

After researching online for similar-sized enterprises to the proposed magazine, it was discovered that an American music fanzine entitled Theory X ( was charging the following rates: free-of-charge for a business-card sized advertisement, $12 for 1/8 of a page, $20 for 1/4 of a page, $28 for 1/3 of a page, $39 for 1/2 a page, and $50 for a full page. At the current rate of exchange between US dollars and pounds sterling (1 USD = 0.62 GBP), this equates to rates between £7.44 and £31.02. It may be that these rates are slightly unrealistic, as Theory X appears to have stopped production. Perhaps, it can be assumed that even those relatively cheap fees discouraged potential advertisers, who were unwilling to spend their advertising budget on a newly established magazine with a circulation of between 300-500.

However, it is important to inform potential advertisers of how much advertising will cost in the future, even if that advertising space is to be given away for free initially. The goodwill generated by the free advertising promotion should yield good long-term results, if advertisers feel their brand awareness is enhanced by inclusion in the proposed magazine.

Nevertheless, it is important to carefully consider which companies will be approached with this promotional offer of free advertising. After checking similar magazines, it was noted that football boot manufacturers, football kits. The highly lucrative area of gambling was discounted as a possible revenue stream, as it would be deemed unethical by the school (where much of the production work will take place). The same would apply to cigarettes and alcohol, although football shirts (which may be seen in the magazine) often carry advertisements from alcoholic drink companies and gambling companies.

After visiting Tunbridge Wells Foresters FC's website (, it was noticed that online revenue could be earned through football kit sales, if Pitchero ( is used for the online version of the magazine. Perhaps the same company could be contacted to see if they would be interested in advertising in the print-version of the proposed magazine.

Meanwhile, issue 3 of JSoccer Magazine included a full page advertisement on the back page promoting a pair of Nike football boots. In order to offer free advertising to Nike, it will necessary to contact Wieden and Kennedy (, the main agency working in global markets.

Given the initial size of the proposed magazine, it may be more productive to spend time contacting local businesses with more modest advertising budgets. Such companies are more likely to be keen to be advertised for free. As the proposed magazine will contain football content, sporting companies should be contacted first: Tunbridge Angels FC, Tunbridge Wells FC. Additionally, given the nature of the proposed magazine, it is thought that printing companies and internet design companies may be interested in advertising. Therefore, it is proposed that VR Print ( and PH Webs should be contacted. Should it be necessary to contact more local potential advertisers a local directory of companies can be found on:

In conclusion, it is essential to contact potential advertisers to ensure the long-term financial viability of the magazine, even if initially free advertising will do nothing to offset production costs. At this early stage, building relationships between the proposed magazine and companies that may benefit from advertising in it is more important than raising revenue.


It may be difficult to get a sponsor on board, but it is potentially lucrative. Like advertisers, it may be necessary to get a sponsor by offering incredibly favourable terms initially. Initially, it is proposed that the potential sponsor should not pay at all. After around six months, that can be reviewed. At the time of writing, it is thought that £50 per edition would not be exorbitant, providing circulation figures are in excess of 500. That would equate to 10p per reader.

Given their involvement with local football club Tonbridge Angels, Italian kit supplier Macron may be worth approaching.

Subscription fees

Looking at the competition in the football fanzine world, The Gooner are charging £18 for a year's subscription to the electronic versions of the magazine (8 issues) and £6 recurring every 3 months ( The printed fanzine is on sale outside the Emirates Stadium for £2.50 in cash and is available to order online on their online shop ( The electronic versions are available courtesy of a company called Exact Editions on: iPad, iPhone, Android and online. The Gooner are offering a full refund if potential customers communicate their dissatisfaction with their magazine within 30 days.

Bearing the above in mind, the proposed magazine will cost subscribers £2 per year for 4 quarterly online editions. This will represent a saving of £2 per year and means that savings in printing costs are passed on to the consumer.

Cover price

Supply and demand economics come into play when considering the cover price: if the magazine is priced too high it will adversely affect sales and if the opposite is the case it may adversely affect profitability.

Given that The Gooner has been in circulation since 1987, it cannot be realistic to charge the same cover price (2.50) for the proposed new magazine which hasn't seen the light of day yet. Therefore, it is proposed that the cover price for the printed copy of the new magazine be set at £1 initially.
Clearly, nowadays a lot potential readers prefer to read online copies instead of physical copies; however, it's still not a majority. A monthly magazine entitled BBC History experienced a 693% increase in online sales in June 2013, but it still represented just over 10% of the title's total circulation ( Therefore, it makes sense to charge a higher fee for the printed version of the proposed magazine, which will cost more to produce.


True circulation figures are often a closely guarded secret, so it is only possible to guess how many fanzines are being sold by competitors. Earlier this year, The Guardian ran an article explaining the popularity of music fanzines ( Perhaps their relatively high circulation figures owe a lot to the fact that they are free of charge.

By contrast, football fanzines are rarely given away. For instance, a Wikipedia entry claims that a fanzine for NAC Breda FC in Holland was selling 700 copies per edition in 2010 ( Given their average gates are around 17,000 people per home match, a club the size of Arsenal (with gates of around 50,000) could possibly sell three times as many (2,100). However, since 2010 many fanzines have experienced plummeting sales, so even the 700 figure may be difficult to emulate.

Rental charges

This aspect of potential finance is not applicable unless there is an intention to produce a DVD or CD version of the magazine (for instance, including recorded interviews with guests or featuring other similar premium content). At this stage, the prospect of producing such content is negligible.

More to follow...