Canadian Magazine Industry News
15 July 2009,     TORONTO
Sway magazine now available from coast to coast
In an industry that seems to hear of nothing but downsizing, Sway, the lifestyle magazine for black Canadians, is moving up. The free quarterly, published by Star Media Group, launched its first national issue today, after serving the GTA for three years.

Sway, the lifestyle magazine for black Canadians, launched its first national issue today.
The first national issue is the Caribana issue, and while free copies will still be available across the GTA, the magazine can now be purchased at all 150 Chapters and Indigo stores across Canada for $4.95 per issue, or online for $16 per annual subscription.

Sway reported their revenues have gone up more than 30% from year to year so far, and their target market continues to grow. According to Alan Vernon, Sway’s associate publisher and editorial director, the black community is the third largest visible minority in Canada, with 18% growth from the 2001 to 2006 census.

Maybe that’s why the 50,000 free copies of each issue distributed in the past at Gateway Newsstands in the TTC, GO stations, 2,500 Dream Boxes and select retail outlets have always disappeared so fast. Vernon says they’re working hard to meet the demand.

“These copies evaporate so quickly,” he said. “All our copies disappear within days, and then we don’t come out for another three months. It gets picked up so often that I ask people to return them when they’re finished reading them! It’s a good problem to have.”

The magazine’s expansion has attracted lots of national advertisers, with big brands in the current issue including Kraft, BlackBerry, Scotiabank and Appleton Estate Jamaican rum. Vernon says that multicultural niche markets are finally catching on.

“I’m sitting here pinching myself sometimes because we’re constantly being inundated with emails asking for media kits now, unsolicited,” he said.

While there will still be some local content, especially with this issue on Toronto’s Caribana Festival, the newly national magazine includes broader coverage too. Content ranges from fashion and entertainment pieces to issue-related stories such as the influence of white beauty standards in black communities.
— Laura Godfrey
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