All over the world, magazines are used as key tools to sell ideas, concepts and beliefs. The Nigerian market for magazines is no exception.
HOW IT WAS
In years past, magazine publication in Nigeria used to place emphasis on the information they were distributing, not necessarily the aesthetic quality. From the mid-80’s to the 90’s, magazine publications could sometimes be difficult to produce due to the unavailability of advanced computer technology. At that time in Nigeria were news magazines like TSM (The Sunday Magazine) published by the late May Ellen, Newswatch by the late Dele Giwa, and Tell which was started by a group of people from Newswatch. Also popular in the late 80’s and the early 90’s were some soft sell magazines like PrimePeople and the lifestyle/true story magazines, such as Hints and Hearts, which were published by Dr. Kachikwu and Chief Godwin, respectively.
Not all these magazines were industry-based, but rather catered to many demographics. For instance, PrimePeople appealed largely to women because of its reports on people of high society.
MAGAZINE PUBLICATIONS NOW
Of all the magazines that were published then, only a handful are still in circulation such as Tell, Newswatch, and Hints. These magazines have faced some turbulence in the form of government oppression (as in the cases of Tell and Newswatch), economic downturn and the challenges of then-emerging digital technology, but they still stayed true to their causes.
THINGS TO NOTICE ABOUT NIGERIAN MAGAZINES NOW
Visiting any newsstand now, you will be surprised at the array of magazines that we have in Nigeria.
Industry-Based: Most magazines in Nigeria are now industry-based for a group of people. Some such magazines include ESQ and ThisDay Lawyer, published and inserted weekly in ThisDay Newspapers. We also have FourFourTwo for football and Complete Sport for athletes and sports lovers. There is also MotorShopper for car dealers and buyers. For the music industry, we have magazines like HipHop World, Blast and Swag, among others. For the wedding business, we have magazines like Wedding Affairs and Weddingbells.
Specialized: Many magazines in Nigeria are specialized for a specific group or class of people. In this category we have magazines like TrueLove, Genevive, Cosmo, TW (Today’s Woman) published specifically for women, while other magazines, like Mode Men, are for men. There is also Ovation which is mainly a picture magazine geared towards parties and ceremonies of the “who’s who” of society.
Quality of Production: Almost all the magazines that are produced in Nigeria now are top quality. According to investigation, some of these magazines are taken out of the country for their printing while those that are printed in the country mainly use Direct Imaging (DI) technology to print. This explains how magazines published in Nigeria can favourably compete with any magazine published in the Western world.
Professional Aesthetic Display: There is stiff competition now in the Nigerian magazine market, pressuring editors to ensure that the magazines they put on the market are of good artistic quality. The pictures and texts are arranged to attract readers.
Most Nigerian magazines that are of international standard have their cover price set between N500 and N2,500.
GETTING THE MAGAZINES WHILE ABROAD
For some Nigerians abroad who yearn for magazines that are published at home, you can get your relatives and friends to help you get a copy of the magazine of your choice. Most of these magazines also have websites that allow you to subscribe and receive them.
Do you remember how Nigerian magazines used to be? Have you been impressed by their superior quality now? Share your thoughts and experiences below!