‘Black Velvet’ magazine is an independent quarterly magazine, first published in 1994 as a black and white photocopied fanzine. Colour was first added to its centre pages alone in celebration of its 10th anniversary, upgrading to a full colour publication as recently as 2006 to celebrate its 50th.
It states in the magazine that they “reserve the right to promote the bands we like. Space is tight; we don’t want to waste it on those we don’t like.” This shows the magazine is confident enough in its brand identity to let readers decide for themselves whether the content appeals to them, and isn’t desperate for approval.
When looking at the magazine, particularly the inclusion of current bands: You Me At Six, Forever The Sickest Kids and Madina Lake, it can be inferred that the average reader would be between the ages of 14 and 22. This could be reinforced by the fact that the magazine is only sold in certain places in the U.K so the reader would have to be a suitable age to travel, or would need a comprehension of the internet – as well as a credit card – to order online.
Because of this I would envisage the reader to be of a late stage of school or a student working towards a career in the industry, as the magazine is quite small and unknown in contrast to publications like Kerrang! so the reader would need a genuine interest in music. This focus is exemplified in the lack of adverts and lack of overbearing pictures: the words taking priority. This shows that the publication isn’t worried about the audience losing interest.
I would imagine the average reader to live in or close to a city like London or Brighton due to the fact that, as aforementioned, these are two of the only places the publication is sold in the U.K. as well as the vast amounts of students that live there. Income would be moderate, and as the magazine is only £2.10 and is published quarterly it is extremely accessible in terms of price.
I would expect readers to indulge in hobbies such as creating music –as there aren’t adverts included to suggest other interests like fashion or video games as there are in other mainstream publications. This further exemplifies the strict focus on music as the adverts that are included are mainly album releases. However, there is an advert for ‘Blinky Media’ printing company, the inclusion for which could be new bands who read the publication who are looking to get their merchandise printed. This could add an element of personal identification for readers as they could see themselves or what they would like to be reflected in the magazine. Having said that, I would anticipate the readers’ style to be trendy but quirky, perhaps with coloured, funky hair, skinny jeans and band t-shirts. As well as perhaps a reflection of what the bands featured look like.
In terms of race and ethnic background, I would anticipate most readers to be of a white middle class background with no strict religious values, as rock music as a whole is often associated with breaking social norms, and is often linked with darkness.
When reading, it becomes clear the magazine isn’t overtly gender specific. It uses a lot of gender neutral colours such as black. It also uses a good mixture of male and female musicians – Flyleaf and Halestorm being female fronted and Lostprophets and Boys like girls being all male – This shows the wide range of acts included, which would appeal to a diverse audience.