Last year, Bauer Media Group’s Cosmopolitan Australia stopped production.
News.com.au reported that adult magazines, People and Picture will face the same fate by the end of the year.
The soft – core pornography magazines have faced backlash, with 7 – 11 and BP service stations pulling them from the shelves after an online campaign demanded changes.
At the time the article was written, Coles and Woolworths still sold the controversial publications.
Activists and drop in sales blamed for magazines’ demise
Protest from Collective Shout and a decline in sales have been blamed for the collapse of People and Picture.
Former Zoo editor, Paul Merrill has also pointed fingers at the #MeToo movement.
With the #MeToo movement in full flow, [the magazines’] days were always going to be numbered.
While #MeToo has started debate on the treatment of women in workplaces and society and pornography is becoming scrutinised, it is still being watched at a huge rate worldwide. According to Psych Central, in the U.S. alone, 40 million people view porn sites regularly. Most are men, however, a third are women.
The most popular site is PornHub. In 2018, Australia was numbered 12th in the number of views by country.
The downfall of the magazine industry
As I pointed out above and have written in the past, the magazine industry in Australia has been dwindling for some time. Magazines continue to close down.
This is largely due to the Internet and the digitising of news and entertainment.
I also don’t think magazines, like Cosmopolitan Australia, People, Penthouse and Picture have failed to ‘read the room’, so to speak.
Cosmopolitan Australia didn’t move enough beyond the 1970’s. Much of their ‘sex advice’ became laughable. Too many people didn’t buy it (pardon the pun). Personally, the repetition (as well as endless ads) was what got me. The articles (what was left of them) were not very insightful.
Ethical concerns about mainstream pornography
Pornography is not just condemned by conservative Christians. Feminists have long been critics of pornography and its objectification of women. Psychologists and adolescent experts have also been worried about its effect on young people, the brain and relationships.
Last month, SBS aired a three – part documentary, Porn Laid Bare. Six young adults from the UK explored the porn industry in Spain: its production, its affect on the brain and damaging affect on consumers, actors and society as a whole. What struck me was the dangerously fine line between mainstream pornography and sex trafficking.
To me, the collapse of Penthouse and People magazines are a sign of a changing media industry and (slowly) values. Do people still want cheap ‘fast food’ sex entertainment? At the moment, obviously yes. However, I also think that mainstream adult entertainment will have to evolve or die on ethical grounds eventually. Ethical ambiguities that pornography presents will no longer be acceptable.