This past week Bryan Monroe of Ebony and Jet Magazine came to speak to our class. During his presentation he discussed how magazines are considered discretionary purchases, and therefore, in the current economic climate they aren’t being chosen as a necessity. We are having to chose between our faithful monthly gossip fix and gasoline to get to work. Obviously gas wins (as always).
What does this mean for the future of magazines? I know I am willing to read the month old copy of Cosmo they have at the gym rather than spend the money on the current issue (I can’t afford to keep up with the trends anyway). Will this type of action cause some magazines to stop their presses and shut their doors? Will I have to someday do without my Cosmo forever?
I think that magazines will need to figure out how they can give something more to their readers. Something that will encourage their audience to say,”I can do without my morning latte so that I can buy US Weekly.” I know it is a stretch, but maybe they can take a page from The Great Depression. During this time movie houses gave away dishes as promotional items to get people to attend movies which was considered a discretionary expense. Maybe magazines could start handing out gas cards with their magazines, then I wouldn’t have to choose.