What the Newsstand Hides

Magazines changing the way they present subscriber issues

With the weak state of newsstand sales, magazines have to be more competitive than ever, leading some editors to take a more commercial approach for their newsstand buyers, as the example of Harper’s Bazaar’s March redesign illustrated. It’s not the only title that has a different version for subscribers. While newsstand covers almost always follow certain conventions (“You need to see the fashion, you need to see the woman and you need to make sure that the cover lines are legible and have as much impact as they can,” said Elle chief editor Robbie Myers), magazines have more freedom to play with the version they send to subscribers when, as another editor put it, they don’t have to “whore themselves to the newsstand.”