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The Mag Market

The Mag HagPosted by Barbara Sun, April 15, 2012 12:02:15
This will just be a short post. But as I promised to update this section of the blog with any interesting developments in the magazine market, I thought I'd post a link to this interesting piece in today's Observer about the resilience of independent magazines.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/15/magazine-print-lovers-printout-stack?CMP=twt_gu

It's an interesting piece which draws your attention to some quality publications that you may not find quite so easily in the supermarkets. It makes an important point about the closure of the Borders stores - whatever you felt about the quality of that chain, it did stock a good selection of magazines, including some US ones which I really miss and can't source anywhere else in the UK.

One point of issue, though: the standfirst suggests that the mainstream magazine market is in some sort of crisis. It's not, chaps - not really. It'd be easy to assume that is the case, as we watch the printed newspaper market struggling to survive. But the two sectors, surprisingly, are not the same. Take a look at the latest magazine circulation figures: http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/section.asp?navcode=157 .

Glamour sells an astonishing 466, 327 per month. Prima and Good Housekeeping are among the women's glossies that are on the increase (older women have the cash, perhaps?). Current affairs magazines like Private Eye and The Economist are also doing very well.

Although there's an overall fall in sales for the sector as a whole, it's reasonably small, and publications with relatively high cover prices are still selling an astonishingly high number of copies. Research shows that, unlike in daily news, online is barely denting the printed mag market, because a massive 88% of magazine readers generally prefer print. It's clear that because magazines are better than newspapers at targeting their niche markets, most of them will probably survive. The ones that don't know their audience will not.

I've avoided the obvious cliché about reports of a death being greatly exaggerated, because to write it in would just be lazy and obvious. Similarly, it doesn't take much to check whether a general assertion and assumption about any industry actually stands up, even if that ruins your ideal intro. Sometimes, the facts have to get in the way.

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