There is certainly no need for a trend study to state that the publishing industry has been in constant decline for years in terms of sales, readership and even ideas. However, the generalized and often superfluous news on the web does not always satisfy the need for fresh and stimulating information that many readers continue to search for, both from an intellectual and a aesthetic point of view. In this historical moment zines, those independent publications of super niche that for decades have been the communicative tool of many countercultures, are becoming new points of reference for mainstream but curious readers, for publishers who do not want to give up, and for brands that want to refresh their communication.
From sports brands to pop stars, from the main fashion houses to mainstream publishing (check out the new restyling of Rolling Stone), many are approaching the aesthetics and content of zine. Today, more than ever before, this type of publication with its often fearless approach to controversial themes and a never banal use of images, offers readers a sense of authenticity and freshness, together with premium content. Moreover, in a world of information increasingly dominated by recommendations generated by algorithms, new personalized feeling and contents are bound to gain traction.
Looking at Nextatlas data we can see how the involved targets are those who have stopped reading mainstream newspapers, and show interesting traits from a demographic point of view, as well as from the perrspective of values and interests. Millennials and Gen X are two adjoining targets, but in reality they are very different from each other, and therefore also the interest in these publications is different: twenty-thirty year olds are actually more passionate about counterculture, while Generation X is more driven by nostalgia, the keyword that guides the cultural consumption of forty year olds.
It will then be interesting to examine more closely what, beyond personalized algorithms, unites and unites the contents of Gen Z members.