Three prevalent magazine types, explained

We like to think we know a thing or two about magazines here at Magshop. From print magazines to digital magazines we’ve got you covered.

Getting back to basics, what is a magazine? Quite simply a magazine is a collection of writing and images that is published periodically. Online magazines and print magazines are often organised around a theme or subject area, such as home and garden magazines, entertainment magazines, food and wine magazines, or fashion and beauty magazines, plus so many more topics. 

Magazines in Australia can be hard copies that you can buy on newsstands or from a magazine store like Magshop, and many are also available as online magazines. Subscriptions, newsagent sales, and advertisements typically fund the printing and distribution of magazines.

Did you know, when it comes to different types of magazines, there are three prevalent groups of magazines in Australia that most publications can be categorised into?

These are consumer magazines, trade magazines, and organisation magazines. Of course, those categories have an array of subcategories to separate them, too.

Let’s break them down and see what each type of magazine actually is.


Consumer magazines

A consumer magazine is probably what first comes to mind for most people when the term ‘magazine’ is mentioned. Consumer magazines, which are also sometimes called general interest magazines, are available to buy in newsagents and in supermarkets, and some may come as an insert in your weekend newspaper. Consumer magazines are the types of magazines that are available to buy at Magshop. 

The target audience for these magazines is the general public. And they are the magazines with the widest readership, which is why they are the titles you are most familiar with.

Consumer magazines aim to appeal to a wide range of readers with information and opinions on a broad range of topics. They’ll often include articles or essays on diverse areas of interest, such as travel, cooking, sports, health or motoring. Some may have a central focus, such as news magazines or fashion magazines. Then there are other magazines that focus on appealing to a broad swath of the general public.

While most consumer magazines started out as print magazines, nowadays, many consumer magazines are available as digital magazines or as online magazines too.

Australian Women’s Weekly, Vogue Australia, Better Homes and Gardens, and marie claire are all examples of consumer magazines.


Trade magazines

Trade magazines are created for different types of industries and their content is business related. It is of particular interest to the people within those particular professions.

The purpose of trade magazines is to keep industry members up to date about the newest practices, methods, technology and other relevant pieces of information. They are vehicles of connection, promotion and education within their relevant industries, such as defence, automotive or agriculture.

Because trade magazines are usually highly specialised, they become trusted resources. This allows those in the trade – and even those outside of it – to use the magazines as reference materials and as ways of learning about different trades and industries. 

Don’t confuse trade magazines with scholarly journals (which are not magazines). Scholarly journals contain articles written by academics to present the results of original research.


Organisation magazines

Organisation magazines are the publications you receive when you are a member of an organisation or society or an employee.

They are designed as a communications tool to keep their audience informed of important policies and changes and bring people together. Organisations can find that these magazines can work well to communicate with their people.

Print magazines for organisations can work particularly well as a communication channel for people who don’t sit at desk, such as those who work in a warehouse, or health care workers, for example.

The partners or spouses of these first two groups also enjoy organisation magazines. These publications their best connection to news about the organisation and changes that may affect their households. Many want to stay connected to the company and to each other.

They are also great for universities as they can help with fundraising, student mentoring and job networking.

Organisation magazines really can be a terrific way to reinforce the benefits of belonging to an association.

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