Most magazine’s that openly report their statistics show they’ve lost about 25% of their audience since 2010.
The truth is, the internet offers every service a magazine does faster, with more target ads, in an easy to transport and digest fashion. The only reason to prefer magazines is that you just prefer magazines. I mean, they are paying for the internet anyway, they might as well use it.
This is especially true for advertisers- why take a shot in the dark with a print ad with hard to monitor metrics when you can do hyper focused digital ads with incredibly clear metrics?
So what do magazines do when their audience drop to survive?
Many magazines, especially glamour magazines are looking to make up for the lack of their audience by instead of paying people who submit to their magazine, they are now charging people who to submit to their magazine. They are treating people who want to submit content like they are advertising- because they are losing their advertisers. We’re at the point that many photographers will work for free, and models are so hungry to get published they are ready to give the images away without question.
The really big magazines aren’t doing this. I’ll only work with them.
To that I say, good luck. Magazine’s like Vogue only tend to print photographers who are personally friends with someone at the company. This has allowed photographers to double dip- they charge the model to shoot and be syndicated, and the, charge the magazines for the rights. Let’s not dream too big now, they are making a total of $2,000- which doesn’t cover their overhead even when double dipping.
The number of magazine’s are increasing
You know how there is less money going around for magazine’s? Well since 2005 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/238589/number-of-magazines-in-the-united-states/) , there are about 1000 new major publications. This doesn’t count every silly person with a MagCloud either. MagCloud gets the comfort of pushing the publishing costs and all the risks onto the consumers (cost of making a magazine dropped to 0, publishing costs pushed directly on consumers). So suddenly major magazine’s unheard amount of competition. MagCloud magazine’s all use this model: Free to submit until you get a large following from people who submitted to you, then charge people who submit using the audience you gained from all the free submission as an example of an audience. Major magazines are slowly switching to this option also, just so they can survive, or they have moved to digital publication (who are also now using this model, known more as sponsored posts then vanity printing).
Photographers are Getting Worse, and are Getting Worse Habits
If paying to submit is the industry norm, suddenly anyone can submit and get printed with extreme ease. You still need a half decent image, but it’s easier then ever before. Somehow, this has caused a surge of photographers to emerge promising to get models published. They can get a large base of wishful women who want to be a published model, and they push the limits on what people are comfortable doing. The model is maybe comfortable with this, but from my perspective, it seems like a clear attempt to mislead models to get certain types of images.
There are still some Magazine’s uncorrupted and accepting publications, but good luck getting into them. Not only do they tend to pay for their images, making competition even more fierce, but they tend to mostly work with people they already know.