This week’s title is a relative newcomer to the print scene. Real Simple was begun by Time, Inc. in 2000, in order to present the newly-fashionable simple lifestyle. (Note that this puts it well ahead of independent publications such as Oh, Comely (2012) or Kinfolk (2011) which share a similar concept.)
When Time Inc. launched Real Simple in 2000, it’s nearest competition was Martha Stewart Living, although marketers aimed to capture a new generation of women/homemakers who hadn’t grown up with many of the classic women’s titles (which I wrote about in December) such as Women’s Day, Better Homes and Gardens, or McCall’s.
The current subtitle is “Life Made Easier”, and reflects its focus on helping subscribers to pare down their chores lists. While it includes many of the standard women’s magazine items, such as product reviews, fashion tips, recipes, and interior decorating tips, the focus is generally on looking attractive with a minimum of fuss, and trendy looks that encourage personality and diversity.
When it was conceived, the title had a more minimalist look than it’s many competitors, but the market has passed it by on that trend, as seen in my reviews of the new batch of ultra-white space titles.
Like many other magazines these days, the title has a YouTube.com channel and various other social media outlets. Despite competition on all sides, the title remains popular and maintains a reasonable market share in the women’s/lifestyle category.
The library maintains a healthy collection of lifestyle titles. Come take a look!