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Lectorat vintage29/05/2008 - par Mark Tungate
There's something instructive about the launch of Femmes, the new magazine for the over-40s. It reminds me of my recent interview with Scott McDonald, head of market research at Condé Nast in the US. He told me, « New media do not replace existing media. What they do is change the ecology of the media. » For example, he observed, the arrival of video and then DVD meant that cinema audiences became younger, because older people preferred to watch movies in the comfort of their own homes. That's why movies with the widest cinema distribution - Iron Man, Indiana Jones - are now essentially aimed at young families and teenagers.
The migration of young people from traditional print media to the Internet may have the opposite effect. Magazines and newspapers may stop targeting the young and concentrate on older readers. Many people over the age of 40 are still wary of spending all their time online. Not only that, but the press is expensive, making it naturally more accessible to older people.
It's no coincidence that my father's favourite magazine is actually called The Oldie. The magazine's advertising slogan is « Buy it before you snuff it » (« À consommer rapidement »). Unfortunately I don't think France is ready for such fatalistic British humour. But I'm convinced that the success of certain French fashion magazines has a lot to do with older readers. They may not look like the models inside, but at least they can afford the clothes.