In a post on his blog, magazine guru (and one-time Smash Hits editor) David Hepworth asks the question "Who wants an official X Factor magazine?".
He notes that The X Factor have approached publishers asking them to pitch for an X Factor magazine contract: weekly while the show's on air, monthly through the rest of the year. The price of this licence is about £2m and two publishers are, apparently, still in the running.
David brings up a couple of good reasons to give this sort of publication a swerve but an official X Factor magazine could still be amazing.
Here's what we reckon this month's issue could look like.
What The X Factor has done rather effectively is create its own universe of music and celebrity. To publish a monthly magazine concentrating solely on this universe would probably require a certain amount of flam and nonsense but it would, in theory, be possible to publish a magazine entirely based on the world of The X Factor and associated artists, particularly in years to come as X Factor USA takes hold and a second stream of artists comes along.
An 'X Factor only' rule wouldn't really be necessary, though — during
the live weeks the show has access to the biggest music
stars on the planet as they visit the studios to promote their latest
releases. More significantly, if the mag became a success and did choose to embrace other
musicians we suspect there would be no shortage of access all year
In the same way that The X Factor's power managed to force a boyband back into the Top 5 when record labels acting on their own had repeatedly failed for several years, and in the same way that The X Factor put a music show at the top of the ratings when other music shows were either niche or being axed, so an associated X Factor magazine could find an audience where traditional pop magazines have floundered since the height of Busted's success. The standard X Factor criticism — that it isn't just (or even very much) about 'the music' and focuses too much on personality — is the very reason the magazine could work: magazine readers love (and need) stories and personalities, and if it follows the show's audience demographic an X Factor magazine could actually be the first mainstream music magazine whose core readership is above school age. It could even break free of the covermount curse, flying off the shelves in its own right rather than because of what's Sellotaped to the cover.
On the other hand it could be a short-lived, money-for-old-rope piece of shit boasting a free hairbursh, three wordsearches and a 250 word Q&A with Addictiv Ladies. Let's wait and see…