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Stats & Data

March 26, 2012

It's not over yet. The internet has not quite won. How the publishing world may soon see a rebound.




It’s no secret that magazine circulation is down thanks in part to the Internet, thanks in other part to worldwide staple injuries being at a record high. Putting Sofia Vergara on the cover of every magazine in North America is a start, but also a reminder of how far we have to go.



The main issue is that the experience isn’t very personalized for the reader, and it’s almost irksome how depreciatory the headlines can be. Example: “How To Prevent War In Iran”.  Well, maybe that is how YOU would prevent war in Iran, but it is obviously not how everyone would. So admit that. “How WE Would Prevent War In Iran” might slightly engage more people. Don’t downplay the importance of the situation or undercut the hard work the people actually making those decisions are putting in. Featuring slightly more accessible content wouldn’t hurt either. Like “How Sofia Vergara Would Fit An Entire Bunch of Grapes Into Her Mouth”.


The New Yorker

This is actually a magazine featuring articles that everybody should read. Often important, insightful, or just entertaining, I feel like it sometimes alienates people with its use of language, or particular typeface.  Point in case, nobody uses the word “typeface”. Also, nobody likes those cartoons. They are just pretending to impress you. Use that space instead for shampoo ads, or pictures of Mila Kunis or a new game I just made up called “Guess Whose Nipple”.



“People” is a magazine for the people, by the people, read by incredibly stupid people. They do provide a legally acceptable amount of eye candy or a welcome distraction when somebody asks you what you are looking at and the actual magazine being far too embarrassing to admit, though. Only the dim read“People” for the writing, which is mostly copied and pasted from Wikipedia just with slightly worse grammar and “did-ya-know” facts that everybody did indeed. If you buy a copy, you are buying it for the cover. The subtly airbrushed photos of Megan Fox running on a beach or Kim Kardashian wearing sunglasses or one of the Middleton sisters trying to conform, or whatever. I recommend “People” stops writing articles and just features over 100 pages of covers. The world will be a happier place with more photos of shiny hair or people emerging from the ocean or Angelina Jolie’s leg, without the worry of having to read about it.


You may think at this point, well  yes, but many of the visuals you seek are available online. How does this help the magazine industry? Simple. We would hire a band of Russian thugs to punch out everybody’s internet connection or Wi-Fi box or whatever they use and shut down the web, forcing people to buy magazines from kiosks. The reward for the Russian thugs would be 40% off a publication of their choice for the next year.



The cover is not aesthetically pleasing. More people would buy this very nerdy magazine if the cover featured Kate Upton wearing nothing but a USB cable.


Sports Illustrated

Though everyone appreciates the swimsuit edition, it is not simply enough to have one issue a year about swimsuits and 51 issues a year about sports. Men can’t spent that large a ratio a year pretending they are interested in sports or know how to read or are not looking at photos of other men and are just waiting it out for that one issue a year. We have things to do, like card games to attend. Play down the sports, play up the illustrious.


Cologne samples

Not necessary. I am not bilingual so I did not know what the hell “cologne” was. I hazarded a guess at “pastry”, found myself to be very wrong, and almost threw up in the middle of the Duane Reade’s. The toxins messed with my brain so much I thought Sudoku was interesting for a full twenty minutes. My point is it is not necessary to put scents inside reading material. Stick to what you know. It’s not like I eat a tub of pralines and cream hoping there is a DVD at the bottom. It is also not like if you are expected to freshen up, you are going to think to yourself, “Well, the old ball and chain left this magazine on the ottoman, I guess I will rub it under my armpits a few times so our company doesn’t think I am weird”. Though on a side note I know lots of teenage kids who are looking to lick very expensive pieces of paper for the sake of a cheap thrill, you could probably sell cologne samples off to them.


Good Housekeeping

“Good” is a gross exaggeration here. Good for whom? Not for me. It provided no tips whatsoever on how to clean house after a “Project X” inspired party goes terribly wrong. There is candle wax everywhere! It also disappointingly provided no photos of Sofia Vergara dressed as French maid.


Entertainment Weekly

Huh? I hardly know Tainment Weekly.


Soap Opera Digest

This seems like a very missed opportunity to me. You have a magazine where you cover celebrities in soap suds and the only celebrity you get month after month, year after to year, to do this is Opera? She’s a nice lady who gives out free cars, sure, but ... broaden your horizons, please! There are literally dozens of other TV personalities we would watch get soaped!  You have no business telling me how to spell things either.


National Geographic

Keep up the good work.