According to the numbers, all magazine sales were down by ten percent in 2011. But women’s magazines were hit particularly hard:
Elle was down over 18%, year-on-year, InStyle fell by over 14%, and Allure declined by over 13%. Glamour, Marie Claire, and W were down by 10%, 9%, and 7%, respectively. The “winners” in this dismal six months were Vogue and Lucky, which still saw their newsstand sales fall by 5% each. [via Jezebel]
So why are ladies not buying magazines marketed to them? One could blame a lack of expendable income caused by the recession, but aren’t frivolities like makeup and movie tickets statistically sold more during tough times? Surely the airy material marketed in women’s magazines could provide an escape from economic reality.
Personally, I believe that ladies are becoming more savvy. With the advent of the Internet, we’re granted access to a wider variety of thoughts and opinions. Many ladyblogs have writers who are willing to question the status quo marketed by magazines. Why should we work hard to look hot for men? Are “perfect pants” really that important? What else could we be focusing our attention on? With less filters (especially the ones coming from advertisers in magazines), more women are able to make their voices heard, and even more can listen. I understand that lots of blog content is often moderated by advertisers, but unlike magazines, not all of it is.
I know I’ve been turning to alternative sources of information since realizing that Cosmo is not the best place for advice. I’ve subscribed to Time, Bust and even Esquire in lieu of other women’s magazines. The last two are especially refreshing, and give tons of practical advice for the twentysomething set. Bust even recently ran an article all about whiskey; I doubt you’ll ever find that in Glamour, unless the article is “Order Whiskey to Impress a Guy on a Date.”
While women’s magazines can be a fun, lighthearted read, I understand why we may be moving away from them. Ladies in this age have a vast array of reading options, which might be making articles like “His Girlfriend Wish List” unappealing.
What do you think of the decline in women’s magazine sales? What magazines do you subscribe to?