Sunday, October 5, 2014

US Weekly to publish magazine in reverse

By +Alexa Rankin

US Weekly is probably the most read magazine in the United States, but studies indicate that the majority of its readers do so backwards, while waiting in line at the supermarket checkout.

US Weekly backwards edition
The spine is on the right and the pages open on the left

Mike Lieber led the 6 month supermarket study and explained his findings to us. "6 out of 10 people were observed to pick up a magazine at the checkout and flip through it, starting at the back of the magazine while only 1 person in 10 flipped through it from front to back."

The study did not follow through on how many of these people actually purchased a copy of the magazine after picking it up, nor did it explain what the other 30% of people waiting in line did. The study also failed to break down age groups or sex in the study, making this seem like a shallow and superfluous exercise.
[pause for the realization of some irony here]

Magazines like US Weekly usually rely on revenue from advertising to pay their bills and these advertisers spend a lot of money ensuring they are located in key areas on specific pages to maximize their exposure, but the finding of this report will have everybody rethinking their ideas. What was once considered to be a prime location on the page prior to the contents page is now essentially relegated to the unread portion of the publication.

Checkout Rack
Checkout this rack
This report has had a big effect on the mindset of US Weekly chiefs, who, in an attempt to appease their advertisers, announced that their November edition will be printed in reverse, with the front cover on the back so that 'backwards flippers' can read the magazine as the editor (and advertisers) intended.

Are you a checkout lane flipper? Do you think this will lead to confusion and embarrassment in the checkout lines? Will other publishers follow suit or will US Weekly revert to the old standard in 2015? Share below.

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