More than a million British consumers stopped buying print magazines, or gave up their subscription, in the year to the end of June. Titles such as Loaded, Zoo, Nuts, FHM, Company, InStyle and Reveal have closed or embarked on digital-only reimaginings, while the 64-year-old music bible NME has been forced to go free to find an audience as paying print fans dry up.
This is in contrast to the fortunes of the luxury magazine market, which appears resilient to the wider change in consumer reading habits in the digital age.
Nicholas Coleridge, international president of Vogue to Tatler owner Condé Nast, said that content on a tablet or iPad cannot match the experience of that “magazine moment”.
“It is very hard to replicate the physical allure of a luxury magazine on other platforms,” he sid. “[It is] something to do with the sheen of the paper, the way that the ink sits on the page, the smell of money and desire that wafts off the page. Readers move into a different mode when they engage with a glossy. Advertisers understand this.”
While WPP’s Group M media arm has forecast print ad spend on consumer magazines in total will fall 14% this year, to £320m, the luxury market is breaking records.