(originally posted 28/10/2016)
About two weeks ago Times Inc. announced that In Style UK is to shut its print edition after 15 years. After selling its last issue in November, the magazine is turning ‘digital only’ after sales dropped considerably at the beginning of this year and the cost of publishing has gone up after the Brexit vote. It’s hard to survive for any print media these days, but if you look at the monthly circulation of the print copy (121,000) compared to their monthly online traffic (10 million), the changeover becomes instantly understandable. Audience demands have changed significantly in the past few years and the time has come for In Style to act on it. Focusing on one channel only would give them the chance of boosting their content that could push them to a more dominant position in the digital fashion and beauty world. They couldn’t achieve this by insisting on printing the magazine. They will save on the huge costs of printing and distribution that will allow them to invest in rich, varied, 24-hour content. The tragic side of all immense changes like these are the job losses. The number of ‘casualties’ have not been reported yet but hopefully, they can minimize the hit as much as possible and give employees adequate support to find new roles within the company.
This brand transformation and the ambitions for captivating fashion lovers through bringing new, exciting, up to date online content every day is expected to bring a huge growth for In Style UK in 2017.
I have to say, I was a bit sad and I’m sure I said ‘Oh, no, they can’t do this!’ out loud when I read about this. I was sad but not surprised at the same time. Call me old-fashioned, but I still find something incredibly comforting about curling up on the sofa with a giant mug of coffee reading the latest fashion magazines. Poring over the editorial images showcasing the work of make-up legends is what sparked my imagination years ago and made me become a make-up artist. To me having the tactile experience vs staring at the screen of my laptop is incomparable. Despite me pouting and stomping my feet about the fact that the digital world is taking over, I do understand that we have to embrace it. In the past few years, the fashion and beauty world went through a fundamental change especially in its ways of interacting with its audience. Online magazines, blogs, Youtube channels have been popping up like mushrooms everywhere. This unlimited and continuous flow of content and the accessibility of content shook the industry to the core – it got out of the control of a privileged few and opened it up to a wider public. Giving way to the digital world has many exciting elements to it that can lead to new innovations so I tend to find that adapting is worth so much more than sitting in our snug comfort zone which will never push us forward.
As I am waving adieu to In Style UK print edition, I look at my collection of the magazine filled with nostalgia. Thank you for the memories, it’s been emotional. See you online!