Teen magazine Sugar will cease to be printed as of March this year. Despite still being the leading teenage magazine (out-performing nearest rival Bliss by 30,000 copies sold a month) the publication has seen a 75% decline in its circulation figures in the last decade.
The readers, it would seem, have all gone online.
Sugarscape, the magazine’s digital little sister, boasts 430,000 unique users every month and this is where the magazine’s resources will now be concentrated (guardian.co.uk).
This trend is not all that surprising – media experts have long predicted the demise of the print industry, and most publications survive alongside an online platform by dividing their content.
But this poses a problem.
Girls used to ‘get hooked’ on a magazine such as Sugar at around 13, moving on to Just Seventeen, and then Cosmopolitan or More as they got older. It is a learned habit and one that keeps magazines in business.
But the rise of online traffic generated by teenagers is exponential, and, as ruefully observed by Sugar publishers Hachette Filipacchi, they expect free content.
Hachette Filipacchi also produce Elle magazine (and all it’s various sister publications such as Elle Decoration) and Red but without a teenage following from which to nurture their readers, these adult publications are likely to suffer too.