Organic Spa aims to soak up subscriptions

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The question soon will be answered as to whether consumers are ready to pay online for digital subscriptions as Organic Spa Magazine debuts in dual format this January.

Published quarterly in print by Oceans Publishing Company Ltd., the title will have a 12-month presence through a Web-based interactive digital edition, which will include links to advertisers' Web sites.

"Our goal is to be the source in the organic spa lifestyle area," said Bev Maloney-Fischback, co-founder and publisher of Organic Spa Magazine, New York. "We plan to build around reader feedback and to be in tune with this evolving market."

The lifestyle publication bridges the spa industry with organic living. It will begin with a guaranteed print and digital circulation of 40,800, which does not include paid subscribers.

"The conscience consumer is our core target," Ms. Maloney-Fischback said. "And that naturally transcends through a lot of demographics."

Subscribers can select from among three offers. The digital edition only costs $9.95 while the print edition goes for $12.95. The two combined are $16.95. Each version will have the same content and layout. A digital prototype is available at www.organicspamagazine.com.

"I feel that we really hit a niche market with this," Ms. Maloney-Fischback said.

The magazine will feature four sections: At Home (the largest, featuring beauty, food and design), At Work, At Play and At Rest. The first issue, debuting Jan. 8, will contain features such as "Eco-Chic Spa Retreats," "Stocking the Organic Pantry" and "The Subtle Art of Zen Rock Gardening."

To gain interest, Organic Spa Magazine has developed a varied Web marketing plan.

"We are spending a lot of money on search engines to make sure that we're No. 1," Ms. Maloney-Fischback said. "We are also beginning an ad campaign in January with magazines such as Yoga, Spa and Organic Travelers so that we can target the core of spa-going consumers."

The title also plans to begin talks with organic retail chains Whole Foods and Wild Oats for in-store distribution after the first issue hits newsstands. And the magazine has plans for supplements in fourth-quarter 2007 that have yet to be announced.

Organic Spa Magazine will attend several trade shows such as Expo East to market its product as well.

"We are aiming to have 40,000 paid subscribers by this time next year," Ms. Maloney-Fischback said.

The market for such a magazine certainly is there. The organic/wellness market generated $14 billion in sales in 2005, according to the Organic Trade Association. It is projected to reach $26 billion by 2009.

"We want to build a community, be the green resource for people's lifestyles and be the first place that they go to get information," she said. "We want to make sure that it's more than a magazine and that it's an experience."

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