The Sad Demise of ASOS Magazine

I had an email come through this week which confirmed that ASOS have stopped publishing their magazine for Premier subscribers. I had heard a few people mention it, and to be honest, I hadn’t thought too much about it – another publication stopping its print run – but after reading an article that determined how it might not be such a good move for the ecommerce giant, it got me thinking.

Apparently ASOS’ magazine has been in production for 12 years – much longer than I first thought – and a real milestone that it seems a shame to stop. Celebrating its centenarian edition only last year, the company reported impressive circulation figures – around 700,000 per issue. When we think Vogue reported just under 200,00 in the first six months of 2019, ASOS held the crown for the widest read fashion magazine in the UK. No easy feat, especially in such a fickle industry. 

Photo credit: Instagram @mourstard

Deciding to pull the plug wasn’t down to sale figures then, but the current climate ASOS finds itself in. Whether these rumours are to be believed or not, it surprised – and delighted – me that people are still committed to print media. They still want to read words on a page not just on a screen. They still enjoy the feeling of something tangible, something to hold whilst they sit down with a cuppa. In fact, those are staggering numbers for a ‘brand’ magazine. But, with the likes of Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lawrence taking the coveted cover star spot in the past, ASOS magazine really did go above and beyond. It wasn’t just promotional print media – a commercial ploy to get you to buy, buy, buy – it focused on making sure it was an enjoyable read too.

What surprised me more is the credence that is associated to a brand’s print title. Not only is it an effective brand building tool, but it’s a brilliant promotional device that has the potential to reach a large – and much wider – audience. 

I wonder if it will quickly become a regret from the ASOS board then. To have eliminated such a long-standing and widely read title that gave its readers – and customers – an insight into such a well-loved company. 

Just when you think print media might be flailing, there is hope – and impressive statistics – to suggest otherwise. Uniqlo announced earlier this year that they are to be releasing a new print title while supermarket magazines, including Tesco and Waitrose, continue to boast notable readerships. Perhaps ASOS pulled out of the game too soon? 

There’s reason to believe that these traditional means of communicating to customers via print media, might just be on the rise.