According to a story in Press Gazette, the UK publishing trade paper, Futures MBUK has been redesigned to make it more lifestyley. Editor Tym Manley said: We are hoping to broaden out to appeal to the new young and fashionable adrenaline sports guys who might be skateboarders rather than cyclists but do ride bikes sometimes.
The revamped MBUK carries last years impressive ABC figure (60k+) in a prominent position inside the magazine although industry analysts point out that average monthly sales so far this year for the market leading title have fallen far short of this all-time high. The other MTB titles are catching it fast, say the analysts, hence the dumping of the logo, the design overhaul and the magazines re-positioning.
(However, MBUK remains as the UK's most dominant cycle magazine and the relaunch issue is a cracker, full of the kind of stuff MBUK should have been doing for years).
Press Gazette also reports that IPCs Mountain Biker International (bought from Link House last year) will soon also benefit from a major relaunch. This is to create clear blue water between it and IPCs original MTB magazine, MBR, although pundits dont believe the two titles can be sustained long-term and IPC may have to concertina the titles together.
Bizarrely enough, Press Gazette claimed that IPC are in the early stages of looking at the launch of another MTB magazine.
BIKEBIZ COMMENT: a new MTB mag is something the industry needs like a hole in the head: there should be less titles, not more. Theres only so much advertising spend to spread around and only the top two MTB titles deserve to survive.
As 2000 is the year of leisure cycling (viz Ride the Net from Sustrans), the big boy publishers should be launching mass market generalist titles to get new people on bikes. It's vital to have hardcore mags to tell the keenies about the latest shiny bits but a truly massive entry-level magazine would do more to boost business than twenty new enthusiast magazines. Its a sad reflection on the myopia of the current bike mag publishers that ON YOUR BIKE (from a tiny publishing outfit er, us) is still the only leisure lifestyle title trying to turn newcomers into diehards.