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Old 03-27-2010, 08:59 AM
  #31
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Ned, I'm curious about a magazine's revenue base. What percentage comes from advertisers vs subscribers/ off the shelf retail buyers?

I agreee that the economic downturn is the biggest factor w/ PB. But even before this downturn, I heard a lot of people turning away from PB due to their content in the last several yrs. I think they need to balance top end deatures w/ articles the average boater can relate to....
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:18 PM
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Hey X,

I can't answer for Ned, but I can tell you that here in the states, subscription prices barely cover the postage for special interest consumer magazines. Advertising pays the light bills.

Also, at least here, great (and I mean great) sell-through for a special interest consumer magazine off the shelf is 30 percent. That means for every magazine that is purchased, two get thrown away.

I don't know the sell-through numbers for magazines such as People and Time, but I imagine they're substantially better. I would guess newsstand sales are a healthy revenue stream.

But with most special interest consumer mags, you put them out there in the hope of converting newsstand buyers to subscribers, not for the income for increasing circulation, which makes your magazine more attractive to advertisers. Which pays the freight.

It's a vicious circle.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:20 PM
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X - Good question and Matt is on the button. Display advertising and paid direct subs are where a magazine survives or not. Newstands are in my opinion the last route you take.

Here is why and every magazine is the same. When you sign a contract with Aramark (big distributor in the USA for mags) this is what happens. First off we have to pay for the shipping of the magazines from NZ to St Louis, then we get charged $XX dollars per pound for them to send them out to their shops around the country. Then they get a 65% of the cover price for their "commission". Then the retailers can have the magazine on the newstands for up to $120 days (6 months). Then if we want any unsold copies back we pay for that. Its always sale and return which means that they only pay for the copies they actually sell, not the copies they are sent. Then and here is the kicker, Aramark pay within 120 days, SO from the time the magazine actually goes on sale over there it could be up to a year later before a publisher is paid and with all the different fees and shipping etc we worked out that you have to sell EVERY single copy just to break even on it. So as you can see its not the most efficient way to make money.

Not all countries are like this but Aramark is one of the main players in the USA so the areas we do put it on the newstands is primarily to get subscribers who see the mag. We have other ways of getting mags out there for distribution that cost a heck of a lot less but do get us into the hands of our target audience.

Subscribers who sub direct to the mag are a good source for magazines as the whole of the amount comes direct to the publisher, as does the income from display adverts and goes to cover the bottom line. Every magazine has a freebie/VIP distribution list as well, its just part of promotion of the magazine. I have a set number of magazines I will give away each issue and how I do that is up to me. I have done that here on this site and on seriousoffshore. Its just another part of running a magazine.

Its tough for any magazine to give every reader what they want and Powerboat is in that same boat. It all comes down to the Editor and what they think should be in that issue. Maybe the editors decisions dont gel with you, one way to ensure they know what you like is to email them and tell them. If they care about their readers then they will take it onboard and discuss it. But you also have to remember they are taking on the views of thousands of readers and not just yours.

Regarding subs prices Matt also is right, subs prices of some of the mags there in the USA are stupid. I know what it costs me to print my mag and ship it to the usa and if I charged what PB or some of the others do then I would be paying a subscriber to get the mag, screw that.

I will tell you that out of a $80 NZD sub for someone in the USA to get the magazine it is broken down like this. Six issues a year so thats $13and change per issue. Now postage is $7.95 per mag so that leaves $5.55 for the cost of the magazine and some profit built it. Its not a lot but the margin I have on it is acceptable to me. We publish a good quality magazine on good stock and we wont compromise on that and never will. How the hell some of the mags over there charge what they do for subs and still expect to be in business surprises the hell out of me.

Anyway hope that gives you some answers to your questions.

Ned
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:12 PM
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Guys,

You will not get a more lucid and accurate explanation than that.

Also note in his first post that he is using the HeliOps site primarily to drive subscriptions rather than raise revenue.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:19 PM
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I was just in the liquor store, standing next to the magazine rack and noticed Maxim mag. I picked it up and thought it was one of those special photo issues or something. It was barely 50% the size of what it normally was.

If you think it's only PBM that is smaller, take a gander at the magazine rack next time you're at the store and look through some of the rags. Advertising is down EVERYWHERE!
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by 502ss View Post
Got my latest issue of powerboat yesterday and WOW 33 pages! ......one of the smallest issues I have seen to date.
Was thinking the same thing. As a long-time subscriber I was shocked how small it was. Interesting thread though.

BTW- Not all mags are shrinking. Some look the same. Some are growing. I do tons of creative that ends up in magazines. Fight! magazine is getting bigger and better each month. Why? because MMA is one of the fastest growing sports. Is this the norm? no, of course not. Point is- the drastic change in Powerboat -I would bet- is directly relative to the current state of it's content - the boating industry.

The arrival of this issue, was a sharp reminder of what is going on all around us. Looking forward to seeing PB back to it's normal size and perfect-bound self someday in the future.

Last edited by socalstone; 03-28-2010 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 03-28-2010, 12:13 PM
  #37
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I'm like most people it's disappointing to see PBM shrink to it's present size... I've been a subscriber since 81' or 82' and its a shell of it's former self.... The most unfortunate thing is I don't see it coming back anytime soon, in this economy advertisers are being very choosy with where they spend their advertising dollars...

My company is no different we've had to look at all of the places we used to advertise and select the ones that have the best return for the money.. That meant reducing the number of people we advertised with, one of the online sites we used to advertise our services with dropped their renewal rate by 50%. It was very tempting but with all of the uncertainties in the market and new costs to business from the health care bill that just passed were just going to do the ones that we know will work...
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:01 PM
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That is exactly what my husband said!!!!

The poor thing isn't even perfect bound but stapled!
Funny but true! Maybe next month the magazine will have more content (I did not say more advertising). We'll see.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:54 PM
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Smarty - Methinks you might be smokin da crack pipe

Unforunately the size of the magazine is dictated by the amount of advertising support one gets. If the ads arent forthcoming for the next issue of Powerboat then I doubt you will see them add more pages to it because bottom line adding more pages costs more in printing charges, and makes the magazine heavier which means more postage charges etc etc.

And re the perfect bound. Unfortunately a magazine has to be up around the 90-100 pages for it to be perfect bound, anything smaller it wont bind itself together and will just fall apart. Saddle stitched and stapled are the way to go for smaller pages publications.

Cheers

Ned
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aoteoroa View Post
Smarty - Methinks you might be smokin da crack pipe

Unforunately the size of the magazine is dictated by the amount of advertising support one gets. If the ads arent forthcoming for the next issue of Powerboat then I doubt you will see them add more pages to it because bottom line adding more pages costs more in printing charges, and makes the magazine heavier which means more postage charges etc etc.

And re the perfect bound. Unfortunately a magazine has to be up around the 90-100 pages for it to be perfect bound, anything smaller it wont bind itself together and will just fall apart. Saddle stitched and stapled are the way to go for smaller pages publications.

Cheers

Ned
No I am not smoking da crackpipe, I have been reading Powerboat magazine since the 1970's. It is just wishful thinking and optimism that I may get the magazine I USED to get, as far as content goes. Methinks I am positive dude that just could really give a sh*t, I take offense to the drug reference - I have no idea who you are. I just want what I paid for, my expectation of the bargain. My yearly subscription is not meeting my expectations, put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Last edited by Smarty; 03-28-2010 at 09:45 PM. Reason: added "is"
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