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Discovery channel to use “dead trees” to boost Animal Planet to UK kids

by on 15 Feb, 2011

The power of paper-based magazines has been recognised by no less a master of the new media than Discovery Communications, owner of the Discovery channel.

Discovery is partnering with that old hand at magazines and all things print DC Thomson.  DC Thomson, founded in the late 19th century, may not be able to run an effective website but it does know about magazines.

Thomson’s site today takes you to the home page and dumps you with a server software error when you try to get more information. 

Going after the kids

But it is not for its new media skills that Discovery has partnered with Thomson.  Discovery will provide the content for a magazine called Animal Planet which will be aimed 14 times a year at the UK’s 7 to 10 year olds.

Animal Planet will cost £1.99 and have a strong push through supermarkets.  That is above the £1.35 a week for DC Thomson’s flagship publication for kids, the Beano.  The Beano attracts 7 to 12 year olds.  It has over 500,000 readers on a circulation of 47,000.

Beano’s readers technically savvy

Just over 70% of these Beano readers enjoy spending time “on the computer”, according to the Beano media pack.  So they are technically savvy.  Yet Discovery is using the “dead trees” method of spreading its Animal Planet brand.  And this in the teeth of a recession.

The Animal Planet TV channel attracts 96 million subscribers in the USA and 141 million outside the USA.  Its target viewers are adults aged 25 to 54.  So the magazine will try to bottom feed that with more youthful viewers.

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