Magazines Pimp Themselves Out

It’s tough to make it in the magazine world these days, as so many advertisers migrate to the web, and print publications face a struggle to survive. Which is sad, because, even though we are Web publishers, there’s really no substitute for print. In any event, big magazines have generally decided that they need to be merchants, rather than just sell ads alongside editorial content. Fashion magazines like GQ now offer readers the chance to buy, directly from GQ and it’s partners, the clothes featured in the magazine. Travel and Leisure, in it’s latest issue, is offering a series of trips that they both write about, and sell.

Of course, this changes the very nature of magazines. If they are merchants, why should you trust their editorial voice? Are they just promoting what they are selling, or what they may sell in the future? And why should a reader pay to buy a catalog? You can go to plenty of online merchants, like Net-a-porter, and get editorial content as well as merchandise. A sad trend, but seemingly inevitable.

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