Tuesday, November 17, 2015

British "lad mag" closures blamed on internet and changing interests of readers

The planned closure of Britain's FHM and Zoo magazines by Bauer Publishing and the April closure of Loaded marks the end of 20 years of "lad mag" publishing. According to a story in Press Gazette, young men are more interested in magazines like Men's Health that can tell them how to get six-pack abs; even then, circ is down. The era of soft porn and female pulchritude may not be over, but it's being delivered online and not in print.
The demise of the lads’ mags shows what a volatile place magazine journalism is to work in. Whereas national newspaper brands last centuries and somehow have survived everything the economy and the internet can throw at them, magazine readers are a more fickle bunch. 
Lads’ mags have become victims of the fact that much of the more racy content they provided is now freely available to young men from other new online sources. But they have also suffered because their readers changed.
The story was accompanied by the data about the British men's magazine sector:
  • FHM: 560,167 – current ABC of 72,180, set to close at the end of the year
  • Nuts: 304,751 – fell to just over 50,000 a week before closing in April 2014
  • Zoo: 260,317 – fell to 27,644 sales a week, set to close at the end of the year
  • Loaded: 237,083 – fell to sales of around 10,000 a month before closing in April this year
  • Men’s Health: 228,108 – current ABC 193,901
  • Maxim: 227,377 – closed in 2009
  • GQ: 125,050 – current ABC 121,085
  • Front: 88,154 – print edition closed in February 2014
  • Esquire: 63,605 – current ABC of 56,499
  • Arena: 46,680 – closed in 2009.

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