Glamour has launched a sister publication for Latina women. Belleza Latina will be released tomorrow, a little more than a year after Cosmopolitan released Cosmopolitan for Latinas. The New York Post infers that this is publishers Conde Nast and Hearst “duking it out in the Hispanic market,” in an effort to secure a Latina readership.
It is logical to target this niche market. The US Census found 60 million Hispanic-Americans living in the United States, so catering to an audience of this proportion is strategic and wise.
Donna Kalajian, publisher of Cosmopolitan, told the New York Post, “The brands that win are going to be the ones that have a big level of engagement with the Latina consumers.”
The pinpointing and marketing of niche demographics is extensive in magazine publishing. Glossies are notorious for catering to immigrant and foreign populations. VOGUE has editions from France to Asia, while O, the Oprah Magazine has a specific publication for South Africa. But where are the sister publications for black Americans, who comprise 13.1 percent of the U.S. population?
The publishing world sees the value of launching successful Latina magazines to improve their branding possibilities, but the black American demographic is one of the largest consumers of goods, including magazines. Of course we have ESSENCE, Ebony, Jones, Sister 2 Sister, and dozens of digital publications, but Hearst and Conde Nast are multibillion-dollar conglomerates that produce top-notch magazines for other populations – except black Americans. Where is Cosmopolitan African-Americans/Africa or Glamour for our population of readers?
Power exists in publishing. A simple Google search for African-American publishers only yields one significant result: Earl S. Graves Jr., the founder and publisher of Black Enterprise. Others exist, especially on digital media platforms, but it is almost impossible to compare the wealth and branding potential of Conde Nast to Graves’ corporation. Black Americans have to build publishing corporations designed to produce platforms for our voices and stories.
Some won’t care that we’re being excluded at conglomerates as influential as Hearst and Conde Nast while some will spew the we can’t seek inclusion; we have to establish our own platforms to share our stories. Both perspectives are valid, but don’t negate the need to ask questions, deconstruct media organizations, and seek answers.
Monique Manso, publisher of People en Espanol, told the New York Post the Hispanic magazine market is lucrative.
“There is room for continued growth in the Hispanic magazine business so long as publishers have organic consumer demand for the product, high reader engagement, original content, and research that shows and proves they are reaching this market effectively,” she said.
One day black Americans should be perceived as a market worth pursuing as well.