Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
If you noticed that your monthly print magazines are multiplying covers like rabbits, you're not alone. The New York Times also noticed, and turned to publishers and editors at Hearst, Time, and more to get to the bottom of it. Apparently, the trend isn't because Cosmo ran out of space for more sexy sex moves. Instead, various publishers offered NYTimes a slew of reasons for the expanding number of covers. Find the shortlist below.
1. Because there's more room for ads: Obvs.
2. Because creativity: Jed Hartman, group publisher for news and business at the Time Inc. division of Time Warner, "It's hard to find something with the power of a magazine cover." So "when you bring out a surprising version of that cover, it can be very impactful."
3. Because traditional print has to compete with social media. Really: In the NYTimes words, tradition print media is making an attempt to "freshen their offerings [...] as competitors in digital media continually come up with innovations, from Facebook's introduction of short-form video built into Instagram to plans by Twitter to provide location-specific ads for retailers.
4. Because money: Michael Clinton, president for marketing and publishing director at Hearst Magazines, said, "It allows editors to get more mileage out of a cover shoot," and "for advertisers, it's a bit of a 'conquest' in the front of the book and gives them a big bang for their buck right out of the gate."
5. Because it's different: Dermot Boden, chief brand officer at Citigroup, said, "We're interested in new ideas and new approaches, new ways to connect with our broad client base." Obviously, the "different" explanation can't last for much longer.
· A Multiplicity of Magazine Covers, and Just as Many Reasons [NYTimes]
· Instagram Video Is Here! The Man Repeller Already Has One [Racked]