Psychologies, my favourite magazine at the moment: a mix of book and film reviews, issues on the mind, body and soul, a monthly in-depth interview with a female actress, psychological tests (although, NB. to Psychologies, far too many tests – who has the time!?), money advice, sex advice and even the obligatory recipe or two at the back (further NB to Psychologies – please send my commission to my usual PO Box).
However, the list then goes slightly awry. Olive – a magazine that is basically just about food. Where to buy it, watch it on TV, eat it, cook it. Ever since I was a child, I have always loved looking through recipe books (this explains a lot), and I may even cook the occasional recipe, but Olive feeds my food styling addiction – on a monthly basis. New pictures every month so I don’t get bored! Fantastic.
And then we have OK, Closer and Heat. I’m ashamed to admit those ones, but I know I’m far from alone in reading them. Along with eating Jaffa Cakes in bed, this is just another one of my dirty little secrets (although not so secret now, right?) They currently reside in the defunct bidet (aka magazine rack – the metaphor isn’t lost on me either) and I know for sure I’m not the only one who reads them (not that he’d admit it!)
But I’m concerned. With the increase in the purchase of iPads and e-readers, are magazines on the way out? Circulation figures bear this out as many mainstream magazines find their figures falling. What’s going wrong?
We all know the internet is a pretty cool invention. As far as innovations go, you’d be hard pressed to beat this one. You wouldn’t be reading this now were it not for the w.w.w … but reading some magazines online just wouldn’t be the same. Yes, the gossip would be more up to date online but you just wouldn’t get the same picture quality online as you do in print.
Also, I love that selfish half hour I give myself when my magazines pop through the letterbox and I try to find somewhere quiet (often difficult, but the muddy patch behind the cabin in the garden works well) to flick through them all in peace and quiet. It’s not the same just taking my laptop down there. There’s no wi-fi.
But there is now an influx of women’s magazines produced specifically for the internet market and their circulation is rising. This is encouraging. Maybe what women are telling publishers is that they’re bored of what mainstream magazines have to offer and it’s not necessarily the medium of print vs. online that is the issue, but it is one of content.
Women will always want information products aimed specifically at them but the print market is saturated with so many titles that all deliver the same thing. Fashion no-one can afford these days, modeled on size zero models no-one has any interest in seeing and Jeremy Kyle-esque interviews with people no-one cares about.
There are online magazines, such as Jezebel, that are different to the norm, but this is a US based online magazine and the UK is slow to produce a comparable site (although a shout out has to go to PR Graffiti who have global contributors and don’t just address the same old subjects – topics, that is, not readers!)
I’m looking forward to the time when the UK has something a little different to offer its online contingent but, until then, I’ll still be buying my monthly stash of magazines and then filing them away in the bidet!
Sshhh … don’t tell anyone.