Now That Domino Has Fallen, Will A New Mag Rise?


Domino, pitched to Condé Nast in 2004 by then House & Garden editor Deborah Needleman, was shut down last week, and, according to the Times, a lot of people are sad.

Domino had friendly tone, hip aesthetic and, unlike most other shelter magazines, affordable price tags (featured items were often from West Elm, Target, and Pottery Barn). Where Condé Nast’s other title, Architectural Digest, is snooty, aspirational and stuffy — with a median reader age of 50 — Domino was fresh and young. So: The magazine was popular, readers loved the magazine. What happened?

Writes Penelope Green:

In under four years, Domino had succeeded in attracting the young, energetic readers that all media profess to desire beyond all else… But while its circulation was strong and growing, advertising numbers, much more important, demanded it die: it received less than half the amount of advertising pulled in by Architectural Digest last year (a drop of 26 percent from 2007, according to Media Industry Newsletter).

Where will the readers who loved Domino go now? If you say “blogs,” you’re only partly right. While many Domino readers also blogged about decor or visited decor blogs, one Domino fan, Sandee Royalty, tells the Times about a pasttime she calls “magazining” – sitting on the couch with her friends and “traveling” through the pages of Domino. A blog isn’t the same: “I need something I can archive, something I can ‘magazine’ with my friends,” she explains. Another reader, Jamie Meares, would buy two or three copies of each issue: one to save in a binder, the others to rip up for ideas.

The question here is: Will another publisher realize the hole left in the market by Domino? Women are willing to buy magazines, are interested in decor, and would follow a brand online and on newsstands. While it’s true the economy’s tough, the readers are there, and the advertisers — brands like Target, West Elm and Pottery Barn — seem obvious. Plus: Aren’t there a bunch of suddenly unemployed editors who would be willing to work at the new title?

A Girl World Closes, And Fans Mourn [NY Times]

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