Sway struts onto national newstands

Owned by Star Media Group, black lifestyle magazine Sway will move beyond its GTA base to newsstands across Canada.

Starting today, Sway, a black lifestyle magazine that launched in 2006, is moving from Toronto and the GTA to distribute nationally on newsstands, including all Chapters and Indigo stores. The black population in Canada is about 800,000, says Alan A. Vernon, Sway‘s associate publisher and editorial director, and about half of them live outside of the GTA. Because a free distribution and eye-catching design meant that Sway‘s quarterly run of 50,000 would ‘evaporate’ days after distribution, a place on shelves across Canada will also give the magazine brand longevity, he adds.

‘This way we’ll have more brand awareness during the times we’re not printing, and it’ll also give access to other people in the community across the country,’ Vernon tells MiC. Advertisers in the summer issue that will go national include Movado, Appleton Rum, Blackberry and Scotiabank. A full-page colour ad costs $2,805, and the mag’s readers are mostly female (62%) and young – 77% are between the ages of 25 and 49.

Sway will continue to be distributed free in most areas in the GTA, but elsewhere a cover price of $4.95 will apply. Editorial content includes stories about music, fashion, as well as news about the successes of and issues within the black community. Vernon says its high-end appeal is why, even in a time of recession, Sway has experienced a 30% revenue increase over the previous year.

‘We’re not dangling a carrot to show what the black community can become, we’re saying Sway is about power, Sway is about influence and the influence that the black communities have on so many levels in this country,’ he says.