Monday, December 10, 2007

Goodbye, Blueprint: mag industry=scary!*


Another one of my favorite magazines, Martha Stewart's Blueprint, folded today. Angled at creative 20-somethings, Blueprint is just one more publication to die within the last year and a half. Others include Jane and Elle Girl.

The main reason these three mags folded is because they couldn't sell ads. The reason they couldn't sell ads is because, well, their market was too niche.

As middle class, well-educated quarter-lifers, we -- as in, their market -- may have great taste and a breadth of knowledge, but when it comes to finances, we still can't afford a Louis Vuitton Speedy.

It's also quite difficult to target ads to an audience who wears mostly vintage and smaller designers like Mayle, Vena Cava and Lyell (brands that don't sell ads themselves). Quirky preferences result in a smaller circulation.

Like Elle Girl before it, Blueprint will remain online. Unfortunately, Jane met a worse demise -- it's gone forever. Rumor has it, though, that founder Jane Pratt (who was fired from the mag three years ago) is planning on launching something new, aimed toward hip, middle-aged women.

Why am so melancholy about Blueprint, Jane and Elle Girl in particular? Because unlike lots of the other women's interest pubs out there, I actually found these valuable, well-written and worth my three dollars and change. Even Elle Girl, which was technically aimed at teens, fits this description better than Cosmo, Glamour, et al. As a journalist, it's becoming clearer and clearer that the only secure place to hold a job in this industry is online.

But what we're currently missing is a Web site as cool as these mags. Sure, Fashionista is a great blog, but it lacks the in-depth articles of a magazine. Glam.com has a great format, but the features are a little too mass-produced for women like me.

What's your ideal online mag look like?

*headline courtesy of my brilliant friend, Marisa Rindone, who is thankful she works at a Dot Com.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Thanks for the info on Blueprint. Annmarie almost cried when I told her of its online only status.