Poll slates 'overpriced and out of date' monthly mags

Two titles that have just closed as monthlies wrestle the internet

Nearly 50 per cent of students believe the monthly magazine market is in trouble and a quarter prefer to read content for free on the internet, according to a new survey.

The poll on students’ attitudes to magazines, conducted by website virginstudent.com, attracted 722 responses, of which 22 per cent said monthly magazines were overpriced and out of date.

Students were asked whether they thought it was “the end” for monthly magazines, following the closures of The Face and J-17 last month.

Forty-seven of those questioned said they believed the magazine market was in trouble, of which 25 per cent said they would choose the web over magazines for free content.

Editor of virginstudent.com, Natalie Blenford, said the response to the survey was interesting because many of the students who used the website were target Face readers. “We asked about David Beckham’s affair this week and we had 62 per cent say ‘we don’t care about the Beckhams’ – quite an apathetic response but with this one everyone seemed to have an opinion.

What struck me was the number that thought magazines were overpriced and out of date and how many said they wouldn’t pay for them when they could get it free on the internet.

“People don’t want to part with their cash for something that is not giving them value for money,” she added.

The survey also solicited comments from students, including Jared Schiller, a 21-year-old art history student from London. He said real youth culture was not about “expensive couture” from which, he claimed, The Face’s advertising was generated. Nor was it about the views of “thickrimmed spectacle wearing thirtysomething idiots who work in an office in Covent Garden”.

“The longer The Face was kept on life-support the more out of touch it became,” Schiller said. He subscribed to Time Out and Viz because it always had jokes and “doesn’t pretend to take the piss out of celebrity culture while actually selling it through a fetishistic obsession with anyone who appears on TV, which is what I imagine Nuts and Zoo do”.

Jon Willers, a Warwick University student, said although he has started buying FHM again, he didn’t feel loyalty towards any magazines “unlike newspapers”. “For the male market, magazines are a poor and expensive alternative to the internet,” he added.

By Ruth Addicott

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