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5 Possible Reasons Why Women's Magazine Sales Are Plummeting

Illustration for article titled 5 Possible Reasons Why Womens Magazine Sales Are Plummeting

Over on Portƒolio's site today, Jeff Bercovici reports that many of the major women's magazines sales are down for the first half of the year. And not just by a little bit: We're talking double-digit numbers. The newsstand average of Glamour dropped 10%; Marie Claire fell 11%, Vogue and Teen Vogue both slumped 15% and poor O, The Oprah Magazine tumbled 16%. We can't claim to know why these publications aren't doing well and losing hundreds of thousands of readers. But we can venture an educated guess! Some theories, after the jump.

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1. The covers suck.
If you love fashion, why would you pick up a magazine that had a Photoshopped roboGwyneth on it? Or an animalistic-looking basketball player? Or Sarah Jessica Parker wedged between a decapitated man's legs? French Vogue's covers are daring and provocative; American Vogue relies on Kate Bosworth's "superstar style." YAWN.

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2. Photoshop is out of hand.
Art directors rendered Drew Barrymore and Tina Fey almost unrecognizable. ScarJo's waist was whittled. Not even "healthy" magazines like Self and Fitness are immune. Maybe readers are sick of the artifice?

3. Expensive Shit.
Even if you adore the fall collections and think of Galliano as God, you probably can't afford a $13,000 dress. So when you have to look at said $13,000 dress posed in the middle of a desert like it ain't no thing, you can get miffed. No? How about a $270 Bible? Or a $246 Louis Vuitton headband?

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4. "News" you can't use.
Once you get past the cover and expensive shit, some mags are filled with mind-numbing, trite or just plain evil content. The illustrated "How To Take A Shower" piece in Allure comes to mind. As does the quote from Vera Wang in Vogue: "The armpit is nasty, nasty. Even young girls can have this problem."

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5. The Internet.
When in doubt, blame this Web 2.0 thing everyone's talking about!

Or maybe it's something we haven't mentioned. Thoughts? Are you buying fewer magazines? Why?

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'Oprah,' 'Vogue' Among Major Newsstand Losers [Portƒolio]

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DISCUSSION

Cheesy celebrities on the covers. I know the mags swear they sell more, but I got addicted to magazines in college, when they had gorgeous covers with Linda/Christy/Amber/Shalom/etc. They were so beautiful you couldn't NOT buy them. I even have some of these saved. The creepy over-photoshopped actress-o'-the-month thing doesn't do it for me at all.

Also, the turnover in fashion has gotten ridiculous. From one month to the next everything you have is "out" and they are trying to sell you a whole new look. Either that or they are fawning all over some 17 year old dressed like a bag lady or 70's housewife and telling me she's a "style icon." —-> all. credibility. lost.

Better articles would help, too.

For those concerned with the prices, if you subscribe you usually only pay $1 per issue. Sometimes they'll even bundle a couple together for that price.