Ladymags Doing Poorly On Newsstands

Illustration for article titled Ladymags Doing Poorly On Newsstands

We may be witnessing the age in which glossy magazines lose their luster.

Cosmopolitan is the magazine with the highest-single copy circulation in the business. Meaning: It flies off of newsstands. But according to new numbers from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Cosmo's down 7.8% over the first half of the year.

According to the NY Times:

Single-copy sales suffer more than subscriptions during recessions, as people refrain from impulse buys, and higher unemployment means fewer commuters passing newsstands.


But AdWeek has a different take: Ladymags might be growing more and more irrelevant. Lucia Moses writes:

Consumers can now get a wealth of style news and advice from any number of Web sites, blogs and TV programs. A further erosion of the fashion magazine editor's dominance has come from lifestyle and celebrity magazines, which over the years have been busy rolling out their own fashion content.

As a result, fashion editors have made the dismal discovery that slaving long hours to put out a magazine — however great an issue it might be-simply isn't enough anymore.

In addition, those "celebrity magazines," like Ok!, Life & Style and In Touch, aren't without their own problems. As MediaWeek reports, Ok!'s circulation was down about 10% the first half of the year and In Touch was down about 16%.

Then there's the mystique and allure of the magazine culture itself. A magazine editor used to be a know-it-all, a couture connoisseur, declaring items "in" or "out." These days, "real people" marketing campaigns are popular; YouTube makeup tips go viral and fashionistas are more likely to copy something from The Sartorialist than from Vogue. As AdWeek's Lucia Moses points out:

Even the famously aloof Anna Wintour has been making herself more accessible for interviews […] On September 10, Wintour herself is expected to be out rubbing elbows with the hoi polloi at a Macy's pop-up store in (of all places) Queens.


Magazines can be great, when well done: Beautiful photography, intelligent writing, a focused, edited point of view. Maybe a drop in sales doesn't signal the end — but a new beginning, in which some of the current titles are re-evaluated. Lord knows we don't need another "how to touch his junk" story.

Women's Magazines Fare Poorly in Latest Circulation Figures [NY Times]
The Delicate Balance [AdWeek]
ABC: Fashion Titles Hardest Hit for Single-Copy Sales [MediaWeek]


Earlier: The Real Reason Women's Magazines Suck
September Ladymags: "Looking Thin"
September Glossies: Same Sh*t, Different Year

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



Really, all print media is going the way of the stone tablet. I should know, I work in it. And I wonder why I can't find a job...

But if a side effect of this is that I may see less of this junk around, then so be it. I can always learn Flash and Action Scripting.