Industry News. Flat is the New Up.

August 8, 2008 • Fashion



Covers like these aren’t luring readers in.

As new media increases, and people ponder whether print media will eventually become obsolete, magazine sales have taken a beating. Not to mention, in this economy which has everyone budgeting tightly, not many people are splurging on subscriptions, much less newsstand impulse buys. Even the best covers of Vogue and InStyle aren’t grabbing readers like they used to. Thus, the new standard for success in newsstand sales is "Flat is the new up," meaning, of course, sales that aren’t increasing are fine, as long as they aren’t going down.

But in the past half of this year, almost all kinds of magazines have posted declines. What’s the catchy phrase going to be now? It’s looking like "Well, it could be worse." Some stats:

Elle’s newsstand sales are down 6.3%.
Vogue is down nearly 15%, though it still outsells Elle on the newsstand by 50,000 copies.
Harper’s Bazaar fell 8.3%.
W is down 10%, but does better in subscriptions.
Shape was also down 10%, but had higher sales than the rest of the fitness category, including Self, even though Self was down by a lower percentage.
Even newsstand stalwart Cosmopolitan dropped 6%.

Ugh, it’s rough. We want to ask the same question as WWD: Is the change "cyclical (uncertain economic times that include
high gas prices, fewer supermarket trips and less disposable income) or
secular (consumer behavior is undergoing a fundamental change away from
newsstand, or from print magazines themselves)"? If you have any insights, let us know. Please.

For more stats, keep reading here: Magazine Circulation Falls in Half.

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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