So More! magazine is set to release its last issue tomorrow. It’s always sad to see a publication close and journalists be out of a job for at least a little while but I must admit I wasn’t a big fan of More!
I understood what it was trying to be: sexy, fun and an easy read but it was also judging, critical and sometimes a little degrading. Obviously I have no doubt that the writers, editors and the whole team behind the magazine worked incredibly hard to reach their deadlines and write what they thought their target market wanted but I think a key to their closure is that they weren’t really targeting their market, young females, very well at all.
I know it wasn’t a magazine that was trying to take itself too seriously, after all a common (and I’m told popular) feature of the magazine was its sex position of the fortnight which was kindly demonstrated by Barbie and Ken, but it’s superficiality spread to its thinking. Beauty, sex, how you look to others, celebrity’s bodies and how you can make your body look like a celebrity’s body were the main areas that More! seemed to venture to whenever I picked up the magazine.
It was a magazine you read as a teenager. Mainly to laugh at because you thought it was a little bit naughty and it felt like an adult’s magazine with teenage content. That was the selling point, at least when More! was more popular than it is now (duh, it wouldn’t be closing otherwise). But times have changed and though readers don’t want to consistently be given serious content to maul over and think about, a mixture of that and the lighthearted material seems a better choice for reading material if you’re to choose a magazine.
More! didn’t realise this and it didn’t adapt. It remained a teenager masking as an adult. Readers are more complex than that. Readers now have an overbearing amount of information at the click of a button and a magazine that only provides the easy stuff is never going to be able to survive. Especially when that magazine provides an unhealthy obsession with certain topics (including insulting celebrities that are too fat, thin, tall, short – whatever – you get the picture).
Readers now demand more from their publications because they can. They have options now and the internet can provide all of it. A paper-based publication can survive if it acknowledges this and adapts. Join its online content with its paper based one to provide one huge world for its reader so that the publication can continuously evolve with the reader. More! wasn’t able to provide more (awful pun completely intended) and because of that it has been forced to close down.
You cannot continue to provide the same sort of content that you have been doing for so long, no matter how well you do it and when all your material falls into the same spectrum and doesn’t reach further or try to, then it’s never going to be able to compete with the demanding readership of today.