Magazine Analysis: Air Force Magazine

Audience

The Air Force Magazine has a total circulation of 99,000, according to the Air Force Magazine media kit.  The two biggest groupings within this audience are active duty military and retired military; as opposed to spouses, cadets, guard & reserve, former military, and those with no prior experience.  As far as active duty military, they are composed of a dominant 72% white male audience.  The retired military audience has no concrete numbers, but according to the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs, the most populated age group of retired military personnel is from 55-74.  Some of their ads seem to reinforce this type of demographic with vision insurance and credit card ads.

Editorial Philosophy

The magazine takes a very narrowed focus.  They solely report and discuss the happenings of the Air Force and all things concerned with it.  Not even the entire military.  They have many articles about the newest equipment, historical Air Force battles, etc.  The magazine is different in nature because of its organizational standpoint but is also a very detailed publication.  They keep those who are no longer in service up to date with the latest news in the realm of the Air Force.  They also inform the younger population about some key battles in the past that lead to different strategies, technology, weapons, and aerial mechanisms.  

Editorial Formula

The content is logical, but there is no apparent order of the content.  There is a flashback to a historic battle sandwiched by two pieces about new boeings on the way.  There are announcements of new protocol, followed by the top bays on the east coast, followed by a memorial to military women.  It seems that the magazine does not focus on some logical order of their content, rather just amalgamating the most compelling and relative news about the Air Force and making sure it is delivered to the readers.  A reason this may be is because of how narrow the topic is, the are so few points that are similar that is may be difficult to create a flow of categorized pieces.

Organization

The staff is made up of 16 members.  Other than Senior Editor, every other position is manned by one person.  The magazine is owned by the Air Force Association (AFA) which is a non-profit organization based out of Arlington, Virginia.  They also publish the Daily Report which acts as a newsletter for the Air Force Magazine.  The AFA does not own any other media, but they do utilize social network outreach and sponsor programs for aerospace research as well as a digital version of the Air Force magazine found on Airforcemag.com.  

Advertising/Editorial Ratio

There are 10 ads within the 88 pages with boils down to almost a 4:1 editorial to advertising ratio.  

Editorial

The content could not be more fit for their targeted audience.  Even the advertisements target the older generation of veterans who are interested in vision insurance and credit cards.  They have some car advertisements for the younger portion of the audience, which still is not too young.  It seems that 26-35 would be the general “young” audience for the Air Force Magazine.  The Air Raid at Taranto is a flashback of two international air forces, which would be a big draw for the older audience to spur nostalgia or even remind them of some forgotten facts.  The younger audience may be interested in seeing the opposing factors of bringing a new plane “Pegasus” into service for active members of the military.

Design

The magazine has a very appealing design.  They use color very well, but they also utilize the black and white feature very well when referring to historical events or within articles that may appeal to older audiences vs younger ones.  The publication is a quick read which allows for anyone to read it on some short down time.

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