Four Evocative New Trends Happening on the Newsstand Today & A Staunch One That Never Changes… A Mr. Magazine™ Report From the Field…

June 4, 2014

As I sat musing about the magazine media industry (as I often do on a minute by minute basis), my thoughts turned to some positive trends going on in the single copy sales today in the midst of all the negative news most reporters and critics are more than anxious and happy to cover. I tend to do my research at the newsstand, something that I have done for the last 52 years of my life. So on to the field and the five amazing things that led to this Mr. Magazine™ Musing.

One by one, five different directions things seem to be moving toward (at least presently) came to mind – four of them brand-spanking new and one tried and true…no extra charge for my easy rhyme, by the way…because that would be a trend unto itself.

Years ago, most of these would be unheard of, no doubt, but it’s a given that in the marketplace and on the newsstands, in order to grab people’s attention and dollars in this digital age, creative marketing and packaging is something that has to be done. And I would definitely call these trends creative, if not downright visionary.

Having said that, I begin with Trend #1, which is one for the record books, I believe: selling back issues of certain titles on the newsstands. This is a practice that began when People Magazine and US Weekly started offering specific pockets on the stands filled with back issues just in case consumers wanted to pick up an old with the new; as I said an unprecedented gambit that has proven not only daring, but profitable. Once I got over my initial knee-jerk reaction of, “What – we don’t have enough current issues to sell?” I realized that this one may be right up there with sliced bread. I like it more and more as I consider the revenue potential.

Trend #2 – Also led by People Magazine – is the method of buying the printed product on the newsstands and receiving access to the digital components of the publication as well. While this may not sound as gutsy as #1 – it really is when you consider the potential lack of profitability of the move. Usually fee versus free is a good mantra to follow; however sometimes you have to risk the farm to gain the ranch. So I’m open to this one – if not completely convinced.

Trend #3 – What I like to call: The Miley Cyrus Ripple Effect…when America’s former sweetheart-turned-bad-girl put out a Tweet that read: “Let’s play a game! All my fans go and put my @Cosmopolitan in front of all the magazines at the store!!! Send me pics haha!” Needless to say, her many fans complied and stuck her Cosmo cover in front of many other magazines on newsstands across the country and the rest, as they say, is history.

Well, that little episode gave birth to the action of every Cosmopolitan Magazine at Wal-Mart being displayed with multiple facing issues or covers of the same issue. Needless to say it is making Cosmopolitan reigning supreme.

Trend #4 – You might remember the days when magazines at the check-outs were priced under a $1…well, my friend – those days are gone. Now we have those wonderful niche dreams called Book-a-zines featured in those spots and anywhere from $9 to $15 has become the norm for a magazine presence there. It may seem indulgently expensive, but these types of printed products do draw attention from the consumer and are proving quite effective when it comes to revenue.

Trend #5 – And then one of our “old faithful” stratagems, enforcing the statement that some things never change – most magazines on newsstand check-out counters are still aimed at women. That will probably never change and no matter how the demography of the public changes and the shopping habits of the audience change, some stuff in life (or on the newsstands) seem never to change.

So, there you go five trends, with five different perspectives and five different ways of trying to gain our audience’s attention and ultimately their loyalty to the printed product that we’re selling; all interesting points of entry for ink on paper when it comes to consumer’s shopping carts. Maybe, after all, the future of digital starts with PRINT.

© Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, 2014. All Rights Reserved.


One comment

  1. […] to industry blogger mrmagazine, Miley Cyrus Tweeted, “Let’s play a game! All my fans go and put my @Cosmopolitan in front of […]

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