How shut down of Marie Claire shows lack of readers for lifestyle magazines

A week after Times of India announced that it was winding down its weekend features paper because it was failing to generate sufficient revenue, the Outlook Group has announced that it is shutting down the local editions of three international titles - People, Marie Claire and Geo.

"Outlook Publishing (India) Pvt Ltd wishes to inform its readers that it is discontinuing its licensing arrangements with People, Geo and Marie Claire magazines with effect from the forthcoming issues of these magazines," read a statement by Indranil Roy, president of the Outlook Group, released on Friday.

 How shut down of Marie Claire shows lack of readers for lifestyle magazines

Cover of Marie Claire magazine. Image courtesy: Ibnlive

"We have no information at this point in time," a member of the staff at the lifestyle magazine Marie Claire told Firstpost, not wishing to comment any further.

It is learnt the employees were in the final stages of bringing out the latest issue, which it now turns out will be their last, when they heard the news via Twitter.

Roy is expected to meet the staff at Marie Claire on Monday.

Former employees who have spoken to the staff told Firstpost that they (the staff) had not seen this coming as the magazine didn't have problems getting advertisements. Those in the know said the future of 30-40 employees was likely to be affected by this sudden shut-down.

This latest development, say industry insiders, is a reflection of the dwindling fortunes in the lifestyle magazine space.

Says Aekta Kapoor, former editor at Atelier and Atelier Diva - both magazines shut down a month ago, "It came as a shock to us when we got an email telling us it was our last working day. The magazine simply ran out of money." Kapoor is now consulting editor at a a lifestyle wedding-oriented magazine called Wedding Vows.

Speaking about the challenges of running a lifestyle magazine at a time when advertisements are becoming scarce, Kapoor says, "Lifestyle magazines cannot afford to keep marketing and editorial separate. The lifestyle magazines that have still survived are those where the editors who go and look for ads... The time has come for all of us to reinvent ourselves."

She adds, "Advertisers realise that the kind of people they want to advertise to are not reading magazines anymore. To give you an example, I have grown-up children, teenagers. I have never seen them reading magazines. They are on the Internet, on Facebook, on i-phone apps. Their whole world is so digital. I have been saying this for a couple of years now, I really don't see a future for print lifestyle publications. There are very few iconic brands that have stood the test of time. In a country like India, where people are already struggling for so many necessities, sitting back and reading a luxury magazine is something very few can afford now."

Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 22:29:26 IST