Brides Goes Back to Bi-Monthly. Why are We Surprised?

It was big news when Conde Nast shuttered Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride Magazines. Conde is one of our premiere magazine publishers. As someone who never had the opportunity to work for one of the bigger New York based publishers, I can only imagine what it would be like to work for a publisher with that kind of editorial strength and industry clout. So when the recession struck with brute force, it was a little shocking to see a premium publisher respond by closing some property.

Back to the 6X frequency!

Brides Magazine, the remaining bridal magazine in the Conde portfolio then went to a monthly frequency. And that strategy lasted until this week’s announcement.

Of course, the trade press immediately jumped on the news:

Brides Switched to Bimonthly

Brides Overhauls Strategy

Brides to go Bimonthly

Conde Nast Taking Brides Bimonthly Boosts Mobile Interaction

The gist of each article is that the publisher is ramping up it’s digital strategy after being disappointed with single copy sales results and advertising revenue.

Yes, and….

No doubt, the bridal market is a tough one. On the newsstand alone, I’ve seen more than thirty titles with some sort of national content. In the bookstore market, the competition heats up with some excellent imports from the U.K. If you’re working in the regional market, something Conde also abandoned in the past year, I’ve counted at least one hundred or more regional titles all across the country.

I can only imagine how hard an bridal advertising rep has to work to make a sale. That seems like an impossible job.

If we add the competitive print market to the wireless way many brides to be live today….

Well, then the strategy makes some sense. That’s some shocking news, eh?

But I also can’t help wonder if it may also have something to do with the publisher finally fulfilling the subscription liabilities they took on when Modern Bride and Elegant Bride were folded. After all, at one time Modern Brides had more than 200,000 subscribers.

No one mentioned that.

Brides is also on the checkout. It often shared pockets with it’s sister title. If you paid a lot for your pocket, and you were a bimonthly, and you don’t want to leave copies sitting in a pocket that long…

Care to share?

Go monthly, right?

So, yes, declining advertising revenue, declining newsstand sales, brides being more mobile. We get it. Been there, heard it all before.

But I can’t help wondering if it you combine that trend with  major national retailers starting to re-do their front ends, subscription liabilities coming to a close. You know, circulation stuff…

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2 Responses to Brides Goes Back to Bi-Monthly. Why are We Surprised?

  1. Andy Cowles says:

    Good post, and an interesting market. Which I worked in back on the day when I redesigned the logo for Hearst UK’s You And Your Wedding. With the increase in couples paying for thier own wedding, this was the title designed for the Bride herself, whereas Conde UK’ Brides appealed more to the mother of the Bride.
    Either which way, the market still goes crazy right after new year, when every girl with a proposal rushes out and buys up every title she can lay her hands on. After that , she’ll buy the one she likes for three or four issues, and then not much else thereafter.
    As for subscribers, what kind of crazy person would you have to be to do THAT!
    Unless perhaps you’re in the flower arranging business.
    As for digital, yes, that’s where the younger end of the market will go, if they’re not there already. If its anything like the shelter market, then Pinterest is likely to be the destination of choice.

  2. Thanks for dropping in. Checked out your link and like what you write! That Look Mag cover is really something.

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