Just last week, Rodale shut down its men’s lifestyle magazine Best Life. Many other publications have also folded in recent months. However, the general conclusion that you would reach from all of this recent news isn’t necessarily correct. From this story in Slate:
“Yet the general conclusion that many extrapolate from these recent shutdowns is wrong. It’s not that magazines are dying; it’s that magazines that were created solely for advertising or market-share purposes are. New magazine titles often fail from a combination of bad timing, bad thinking, and a bad choice of brands to extend. Put simply, there are too many mediocre magazines (as anyone who gazes at the newsstand at Barnes and Nobles would conclude).
“In one way, publishers are suffering from the same tendencies as traders binging on mortgage-backed securities: When the advertising market in a particular genre begins to rain really hard, publishers respond by trying to create more buckets, instead of working to find the next bucket where passion resides. The reality is that once a market is mature enough to support a national magazine, chances are it has already peaked.”