Is the future for men’s lifestyle magazines doomed?
ShortList magazine is shutting down after more than a decade, after running with a circulation of more than 500,000, across London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Newcastle and Leeds. This further highlights the pressure publishers are feeling to make free print publications profitable amid declining advertising revenue and the increased cost of paper.
The men’s title was founded in 2007 when paid-for lads’ magazines such as Nuts and Zoo, and monthly titles FHM and Loaded were still selling hundreds of thousands of copies.
ShortList’s website will continue to exist, but most original editorial content will be replaced with product recommendations, with them taking a commission from affiliate links when users purchase a promoted product. The publisher has now been renamed ‘The Stylist Group’ and will focus on the female-focused title of the same name. The Stylist has twice the revenues of ShortList despite a smaller print run.
Paid-for men’s magazines are also struggling, with Esquire recently announcing plans to raise its cover price and cut its number of editions from 12 to six issues a year.
All Response Media viewpoint
With another print title closing its doors, the question of whether it’s time to move away from press and towards alternative media resurfaces. However, there are still thousands of magazines and newspapers delivering a strong circulation that allow us to capture individual audiences.
We utilise tools and systems like YouGov which enable us to remain adaptable to changes in the market, by analysing audience behaviours and preferences. If we consider the audience for ShortList as predominantly young and male, we can profile them through YouGov and not only determine suitable alternative titles but also consider additional media, and even understand the days/times they are most likely to be engaging with them.
As an agency, we pride ourselves on our strong media owner relationships which allows us to remain on top of an ever-changing market so that when a door closes, we’re already holding another door open.
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