How Mobile Phones In Supermarkets Are Killing The Magazine Business

Anne Hathaway Vogue

Photo: Vogue

Magazine circulation dropped 9.5 per cent in the U.S. last year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly ABC), and much of the reason for that can be blamed on mobile phones.When people stand in line at the supermarket checkout, they’re so engrossed in their phones that they no longer look at the impulse-buy rack — the favoured home of the National Enquirer, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Vanity Fair — according to WARC, the market research group.

The phenomenon is called “mobile blinders.” Using a phone makes consumers blind to certain types of in-store come-ons. Hearst magazines has been particularly hard hit, WARC reports:

“We do find a number of people, if stalled for a minute, will steal a look at their email or news feed,” David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, told the FT. “Everyone that has products at checkouts has to battle for consumer attention,” he added. 

Hearst Magazines publishes 20 magazine titles in the USA, one of which, Cosmopolitan, recorded an 18.5% fall in single copy sales in the second half of 2012. Other magazines that saw double-digit falls in circulation included People and Star.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.