Oh for a book and a shady nook… – John Wilson (1785 – 1854)
By Mercy Pilkington.
Apple made a few headlines this year with the anxiety over its app
subscription model. Consumers were more than a little displeased to find
out that their favorite magazines were costing upwards of $250 a year,
the same as the newsstand price, to read them on their iPads. At the
same time, big-name retailers had a battle of sorts with the tablet
giant over the ability to send customers to their purchasing portals.
But that’s not the real news behind why certain magazines are outselling
iPad editions on the Nook Color. It comes down to simple marketing.
“The Nook Color has surprised publishers of women’s magazines like O,
The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health by igniting strong
sales that rival – and in some cases surpass – sales on the iPad,” says
Jeremy W. Peters in an article in the New York Times.
While the iPad has been marketed as a combination do-it-all machine and
grown man’s toy, if you will, Barnes and Noble took the quiet road with
its target audience, literally. Commercials for the device, which has
been on the market for less than a year, show women lounging on beaches
or reclining for a few stolen quiet moments overlooking the backyard
where their children play. The last thing Nook’s key demographic wants
is an expensive device that lets you multi-task on fifteen different
mini-screens at once.
And that price may have played a huge part in the higher sales to women.
For a consumer group that has a notorious stereotypical reputation for
not spending money on itself, the Nook Color was at a far-less
guilt-inducing price point than the iPad, while still affording women
the convenience of portable subscription-based reading and downloadable
While Barnes and Noble will not reveal specific sales numbers for the
Nook other than to say it is in the strong millions, several magazine
publishers have now come forward with the information about how their
sales are faring on the Nook Color versus the iPad. Magazine publishing
families Meredith and Hearst are outselling women’s magazines on the
Nook by an average of two-to-one over iPad numbers, allowing for the
fact that some of the women’s magazines they publish are still not
available by subscription on the iPad. Publishing mainstay Rodale, which
publishes Runners’ World, Women’s Health, and Prevention, just to name a
few, now reports that it sells five times as many subscriptions on the
Nook Color as it does on the iPad.
Mark Sweney and James Robinson
Hearst Magazines UK closes titles following end of review sparked by
$651m acquisition of brands including Elle and Red
Hearst Magazines UK has closed Cosmopolitan Bride and women’s lifestyle
title She, following the completion of a portfolio review sparked by the
$651m acquisition of rival brands including Elle and Red.
In an email to staff Arnaud de Puyfontaine, the chief executive of
Hearst Magazines UK, said both titles would be closed with immediate
effect and that he would “endeavour” to find new roles in the expanded
company for staff affected.
“As a business that believes strongly in the future of print, it is
never an easy decision to close a magazine and we have looked long and
hard at all options,” he said. “However, we are taking this decisive
action now to strengthen our overall portfolio, focusing our investment
on our stronger titles and digital expansion”.
He added that competition has “never been fiercer” in each of the
sectors the magazines target and that we “cannot ignore those trends or
the need to adapt our business accordingly”.
The last issue of She magazine, which targets the highly competitve
women’s lifestyle sector, will come out on 16 August when the September
edition hits the shelves.
The monthly title has a circulation of 144,583, according to the latest
Audit Bureau of Circulations report for the six months to the end of
December, making it the 65th most purchased magazine in the UK.
The title saw sales fall 3.7% year on year in the six months to the end
of December and up 2% compared with the previous six months.
In contrast newly acquired rivals Elle UK and Red are considerably
larger with sales of more than 200,000, while both titles recorded
period-on-period and year-on-year sales increases in the latest ABC report.
Hearst is to publish the last issue of the 10-year-old Cosmopolitan
Bride, a bi-monthly title, on 25 August when the October/November issue
The title ranks fourth in its sector, behind long-time stablemate You &
Your Wedding, Condé Nast Brides and Hubert Burda’s Wedding & Home. The
title recorded a 3.7% year-on-year fall in sales in the six months to
the end of December, according to the latest Audit Bureau of
Hearst said that the strategy would be to focus on You & Your Wedding by
“blending the best of Cosmopolitan Bride into both the printed magazine
“Following the acquisition of Hachette Filipacchi, we have looked at our
business and made the decision to close both She and Cosmopolitan Bride
to ensure our company is as robust and adaptable as possible for the
future,” said Meribeth Parker, group publishing director, Hearst
In March Hearst acquired the Hachette Filipacchi magazine division of
French media company Lagardere for $651m.
The UK part of the deal, which completed on 1 August, saw Hearst
Magazines UK acquire the publishing rights to Elle, Elle Decoration and
Psychologies, as well as ownership of Red, All About Soap, Inside Soap,
online site Digital Spy and Sugarscape.