People StyleWatch Profits With Product Placement

As almost everything about the print magazine business continues to stink, People Style Watch is turning profits, and its editor is having a ball, says The New York Times.

Having “tossed out old-fashioned ideas of what magazine editorial pages should contain,” says the Times, the magazine is “baldly selling products.” The approach hasn’t hurt:

In the second half of last year, StyleWatch’s circulation rose 8.6 percent, to about 802,000, as the industry average dropped 2.2 percent. And StyleWatch’s ads have boomed. Last year, when magazines lost more than a quarter of their ad pages on average, StyleWatch increased its pages by more than 24 percent, to 629 pages. In the first quarter, consumer magazines lost 9.4 percent of their ad pages on average, but StyleWatch’s grew by about 130 percent, and the magazine is profitable.

The magazine has also reduced costs by using paparazzi photos instead of expensive fashion shoots. As for the words, they mainly come from publicists.

And with that, the line between “reading a magazine” and “watching commercials” gets even narrower.

Publish date: April 19, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT