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Symbolbild Jerome Boateng
Image: picture-alliance/sampics Photographie

Jerome Boateng launches new lifestyle magazine

Felix Schlagwein eg
November 13, 2018

While long-established newspapers and magazines are dying in Germany, new titles are appearing on the market. Here's why lifestyle magazines supported by stars, like Jerome Boateng's BOA, are so popular.


For many fans, Jerome Boateng is not only an exceptional football player; he's also a fashion icon. Pictures on his Instagram account show him wearing his sports uniform alongside others featuring him in smart suits or freaky shorts and stylish hoodies. He boasts a collection of over 600 pairs of sneakers and has designed different lines of eyeglasses.

Boateng is now sharing his passion for fashion beyond his nearly six million followers on Instagram via a new lifestyle magazine called BOA, which launched on Sunday.

BOA is dubbed Germany's "first urban lifestyle magazine for millennials" by its publishers Gruner + Jahr, which has developed different magazines centered around the country's popular personalities.

"We believe that the success of such magazines can be explained by people's yearning for identification," said Sabine Grüngreiff, director of marketing of the Hamburg-based publisher. Stars reveal themselves through the editorial choices of their magazines, she added. "This subjectivity is appealing to readers."

Inspirational magazines driven by personalities is a trend countering the otherwise rapidly declining print sector.

BOA Cover
"Germany is cooler" states the first edition of BOA

Long-established titles to cease print publications

Newspapers have been struggling for years with sinking sales and advertising revenues. In August, Die Tageszeitung newspaper announced that the printed version of the daily would be discontinued in the foreseeable future; only the weekend edition would still appear on paper. "The era of printed newspaper is over, journalism lives on the net," said Karl-Heinz Ruch, managing director and co-founder of the newspaper also known as the taz.

Many other news outlets are shifting their focus to the internet. People have often gone online to read the news that they'd find printed in the paper the next morning.

But it's not just daily newspapers that are affected by the shift. Long-established German magazines Neon, Intro and Spex are just three big names that have either discontinued their printed edition or stopped operating completely.

"The ad market for print magazines has shrunk dramatically — to a degree that has not been offset by digital revenue. Unfortunately, we were unable to compensate these losses in the long term," wrote Intro's chief editor Daniel Koch in the farewell article of the magazine that started publishing in 1992.

Magazines with an extra edges

Nevertheless, the future of the printed magazine does not seem entirely doomed. Many readers still prefer the feel of a magazine; they want to hold it in their hands and will choose print to read longer stories which require a greater attention span.

Lifestyle magazines have another advantage over newspapers, as their stories are typically timeless and remain relevant several weeks after their publication. Aesthetic glossy pictures do not lose their appeal, and that interview with a fashion designer or the 10 best leek recipes aren't outdated quickly.

'Barbara' magazine
"Barbara" is another relatively new title, driven by German singer, actor and TV host Barbara SchönebergerImage: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Hoppe

Still, magazines need to innovate to survive. Publishers need to experiment with formats and drop some when necessary. "In the end, the reader is always the one who decides," said Grüngreiff. "The sector is more innovative than ever, but every magazine needs its own channel for the stories it wants to tell.

BOA still needs to prove it has found the right channel through sales figures, but Boateng's new magazine is proof that Germany's printed magazine market isn't dead yet.

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