Condé Nast-owned Glamour magazine is the latest women’s magazine to ditch print in favor of a digital audience, reports The New York Times. Just a year ago, Glamour went from 12 issues down to 11, but now it is ending its regular print edition altogether. The last issue will be the magazine’s January issue, scheduled to be on newsstands now. The magazine may occasionally publish special issues like its popular Women of the Year edition. According to Condé Nast, Glamour, which was first published in 1939, reaches one out of eight American women, with 9.7 million print readers, more than 11 million unique monthly users online, and over 14 million social media followers.
Samantha Barry, 37, serves as Glamour‘s editor-in-chief. Barry was named editor-in-chief in January of this year. She previously served as the executive producer for social and emerging media at CNN Worldwide. Barry is responsible for overseeing content development, production and consumer experiences on all of Glamour’s platforms.
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When hired, Anna Wintour, artistic director for Condé Nast, said, “Sam is Glamour’s first digital-native editor, which is to say she arrives from the future rather than the past…Sam is fearless like so many leaders of the moment and has both a reverence for Glamour’s history and a crystal clear view of its future in the digital environment.”
“I am as humbled by Glamour’s past as I am excited about Glamour’s future,” said Barry in a January news release. “I could not be more proud to take the reins of an iconic women’s brand at this pivotal moment for all women’s voices. For me, Glamour is the home of strong storytellers, insightful journalism, beauty and fashion. I look forward to building on the brand’s success and sharing Glamour with audiences everywhere.”
It is not clear if current subscriptions to Glamour will be refunded, or if the online-only version of Glamour will be accessible via subscription, but it seems unlikely that it will be free. The Subscription Services link on the Glamour site is not currently working. Subscribers are asked to call a toll-free number to talk to a customer service representative.
A subscription link on the Glamour page of Condé Nast takes website visitors to a page where they can subscribe to other Condé Nast magazines, but not Glamour:
Glamour is the latest in a list of women’s magazines moving away from print. Last year, Condé Nast stopped regularly publishing Teen Vogue and Self, and Hearst said it will stop publishing Seventeen magazine on a regular basis. In September, Meredith Corp. announced it would combine Eating Well magazine with Cooking Light to produce one magazine, published 10 times a year, under the Eating Well brand.
Pamela Drucker Mann, chief marketing officer at Condé Nast, said this is not a failure.
“This isn’t like another magazine that is not going to make it,” said Drucker Mann in The New York Times article. “This is about the evolution of a brand and what it means not just to redefine itself and grow, but also to liberate itself and have this ability to not only continue on, but to be more successful than it ever was.”
As someone who grew up on teen magazines and who started reading Glamour and Cosmopolitan in her late teens-early 20s, this feels like a bit of a death to me. My friends and I loved buying the latest magazines and reading them together and sharing the latest issues. I understand that the digital age has changed how we read and consume content, and I subscribe to several news outlets online, but I have yet to subscribe to an online-only magazine. I like the tactile feel of a magazine in my hands, turning the pages, folding down the corners of products I might want to buy or articles I might save for later.
Reading an article here and there on a magazine’s website is okay for the occasional read, but for me, it will never replace the value of a magazine that I can take on a plane, cozy up to on the couch, or share with a friend. The digital versions of articles and magazines just simply aren’t the same, and I will mourn their death, no matter how publishers try to sell me on the benefits of a digital version