Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Avoid the credit crunch - go mainstream...?

The magazine industry is in trouble, advertising revenues are decreasing rapidly and blogs like this offer instant information for free. I personally, still love immersing myself in a good magazine, Elle and Vogue are my mainstays alongside Dazed & iD, Grazia is a weekly I regularly read, however, I am not target audience, too young for one, too poor for another! However, it still fulfils an aspirational hole in the weekly magazine market.

The Guardian Media section reported that forecasters are looking closely at subscription levels in the next few months and specifically mentions Grazia as a magazine that could fare well in the coming months' further recession. According to Guardian writer Oliver Luft the magazine will need to tailor it's content towards a mass market if it wants to increase its circulation and close in on the former monthly market:

"Bauer's weekly high end fashion magazine, Grazia, might prove an unusual kind of bellweather in the coming year. If it wants - or needs - to increate circulation it will need to run editorial that appeals more to a mass market. But mass market editorial could put off some of its more luxurious advertisers. Watching where Grazia's priorities lie during the next 12 months may tell you about the confidence of the sector."

Now I agree that luxury advertising may well be put off by any potential change in content, I would go further to say that it's not only them but also readers like myself who will also be put off. However, the cover of Grazia puts me off some weeks, the celebrity baiting front covers don't reflect the content inside the magazine. For me, Grazia's covers give the impression of being in the confused middle ground between celebrity magazine (that's what sells) and high fashion (which, clearly doesn't).

Is this the future of the fashion magazine? Appeal to the masses in order to keep sales to a maximum? It certainly seems that way, only last week Amelia's Magazine announced it's imminent demise - yes it was only destined for a ten issue print run but I am still in mourning for my favourite magazine which I see as a collectors item.

Look magazine is a magazine that I enjoy reading when on occasion I pick it up but its not a publication I would buy over Grazia or Dazed. Why is this? I don't think its snobbery, I think the fashion is purposely more obtainable (ie high street) and that's not what I want, but I also think it's my desire to lose myself in a magazine, feel the heavy stock of paper, see super skinny girls in clothes I cannot afford but can imitate with less expensive versions.

I'm really interested to find out what other people think about magazines - do you read magazines so you can lose yourself in the editorial or because you want to find out the best clothes out there on the high street? Would mainstream content in currently high fashion magazines lead you to put them back on the shelf? It certainly would for me. That's why I wait with baited breath for the brand new Conde Nast publication Love and will continue to buy magazines that appeal to me as a lover of fashion I cannot afford and an escapist.


Swell Vintage - Frankie said...

I always feel embarrassed when I buy Look, and I don't know why! I think it's because Cheryl Cole or Britney Spears is usually on the front...but it is a good read with some great clothes! Apart from that, I only really read Glamour or Cosmopolitan.

Great post, by the way!


rachael said...

I regularly buy Elle and Glamour because I like the articles. But then I also buy at least one 'trashy' magazine a week, that's just for a quick fix or a bit of celeb gossip. and I love the worst-dressed lists!
I agree with what you say about Grazia's cover stories though. They really are at odds with what's inside!