The Death of SkyMall

In Memoriam: An Ode to SkyMall

Image of pretty girl reading magazine while handsome man typing next to her in airplane

I may be alone on this one, but I actually have fond memories of you, SkyMall. Back before I owned a smartphone or a laptop, there wasn’t much to do on an airline. Sure…I could talk to my travel companion but I did that on the way to the airport. I could read the safety procedure brochure we’re all provided but I just watch the flight attendant demonstrate all I need to know (I’m a more visual person, anyway). There wasn’t much else to do to pass the time but to crack you open and peruse the countless products I couldn’t believe anyone could ever want or need. Don’t get me wrong…I never seriously considered buying anything from you. All I did was laugh at all of your ridiculous products. A signed “Soup Nazi” photo for $200?! Really?! But, if I’m being honest, I did find myself dreaming about a life filled with your harebrained offerings.

So, what went wrong, SkyMall? You had the ultimate captive audience, but you claim the Internet is to blame for your downfall. Now that electronic devices are dominating everyone’s attention span, they have no time for you—especially with the entrance of in-flight Wi-Fi. Oh, if I had a nickel for every time a print publication told that same sad tale. The Internet may be at fault for a lot of things, but your downfall is not one of them. Like a lot of print publications, you just needed to use the Internet to your advantage and simply reinvent yourself. For some reason, you only allowed potential customers to make purchases through you (by phone or via your website). All you had to do was embrace the Internet by driving your readers to the individual manufacturers’ sites. You also had to find a way to rely less on the airlines for survival and actually make them want you instead of the other way around (airline incentives, perhaps?).

Thankfully, there’s a company in Idaho that understands this a bit better than you and may be your savior before the last nail is driven into your coffin. Honestly, I hope this financial act of CPR is successful. If they think you are a good resource to drive web traffic, clients will start seeing you as a viable advertising option (advertisers kill for such a captive audience).

If you survive this hurdle, will I finally open up my wallet and purchase your products? Absolutely not.  But, on my next flight, I’d love the opportunity to drift off and imagine how much more productive I’d be at work with the help of your mighty SlumberSleeve.

Dale Viger
Just Media, Inc.

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