PacMags unveils new quarterly print edition of Girlfriend and reveals sister digital title

Pacific Magazines has launched its teen girl magazine Girlfriend with a quarterly print edition complemented by four additional digital editions of the title each year.

The new quarterly edition of Girlfriend

The relaunch of the magazine was announced in November last year when Pacific Magazine sold off fellow youth titles K-Zone and Total Girl to special interest publisher Nextmedia. The announcement of the changes to Girlfriend followed on from Bauer Media relaunching rival magazine, Dolly, as mobile-first and bi-monthly however came before Bauer Media closed the print edition of Dolly.

Speaking to Mumbrella, Tamara Davis, Girlfriend content director, said the closure of Dolly, while sad for the industry, gives Girlfriend an opportunity as the last teen girl magazine on the print market.

Davis: Dolly was a fierce and fabulous competitor

“The fact that we’re the only teen mag in market now is a real opportunity. That said, Dolly was a fierce and fabulous competitor and we were really sad to see it go,” she said.

Davis was confident the print product of Girlfriend is around for the long haul, rejecting the suggestion it might go the same way as Dolly in the future.

“Definitely not. The print product is of absolute importance to Girlfriend. It’s always been the core and the soul of the brand however we want to make sure the print product is of something of value to our reader,” she said.

“There’s no point anymore trying to compete with the 24/7 news cycle of online so a monthly news model was no longer the best way to service our reader. We reimagined the print product as a quarterly, as a seasonal edit, everything our girl needs for the three months ahead.”

Davis said the “crucial piece” of the relaunch is serving the Girlfriend reader content in print they cannot get online.

“You can scroll through your Insta and you can capture 1,000 screenshots and send them to your friends but you can’t print out a poster from your phone, you can’t necessarily see a beautiful glossy editorial or beauty shoot in that forum,” she said.

“First of all it’s about content she can’t get online and second of all we wanted to make it something she’d gladly part with her $7.95 of pocket money for, we know that’s a big decision. We’ve brought back the spine, we’ve given it a beautiful foil masthead and the paper stock is better, it’s an all-round improved product, it’s more of a keepsake.”

Davis said the content in the print mag is more long-form, “deeper dive’ feature-style content.

Alongside the new seasonal edition of the print magazine, Girlfriend has relaunched its website and launched the new digital magazine. A sample edition of the Girlfriend digital edition can be viewed this this link.

“That’s in response to the fact that our audience is a digital-mobile native. She’s the first of her kind that grew up with a smartphone in her hand,” Davis said.

“This next evolution of Girlfriend is the result of a six-month research piece we did looking into the changing attitudes and behaviours and media consumption habits of Gen Z.

“It’s really important that we see Gen Z as different to the millennial, she is is vastly different to the millennial, that’s our key finding here. So given that we’re specifically targeting that consumer we had to look at how we could better service her with content on the platforms that she uses on a daily basis.”

On the new website, Davis said it was “her quick news hit”.

“That’s her 24/7 hit of Girlfriend,” she said.

“The second part of the revamping of the digital assets is we’re launching something very innovative which is our digital magazine. The point of this is to give our consumer a more premium content experience that is actually interactive.

“We call it thumb-stopping content. Rather than the everyday scroll through Instagram or Facebook, this is actually trying to capture her attention and get her to interact with the content on her device. It’s fully optimised for mobile. There’s animations, there’s auto-play video, it really brings the mag style content experience to life.

“It’s also enabled for sharing on Facebook and other platforms and it’s enabled for shopping, there’s an e-commerce link. We’re just rolling that out, it’s really early, but there’s the view to potential partnerships in the future.”

The digital magazine will repackage some of the print magazine’s content but will make it interactive and allow readers to explore the content more.

Davis said the vision for the free digital magazine – which aims to complement the seasonal print cycle by coming out in between editions of the print magazine – is for it to be fully interactive, including the advertisements.

“Really beyond just a brand ad in a magazine, it’s how we can bring those assets to life for our advertisers. Everything we are doing now is trying to take a more deliberate approach in connecting our advertisers with our highly-influential audience,” she said.

“Snapchat is a great example, it’s a medium that’s on the up and up of increasing importance to our reader and we’re finding we can really drive great results through that platform.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.