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Are Performance-Boat Magazines Dead?

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:20 AM
  #11
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Chop down some trees, print a story that was actually written last month, squeeze the 30 pages of info in between 45 pages of ads, deliver it through the US Postal service and then charge the guy $12-20 a year?

Yeah sign me up!


The model of subscription magazines is going to go the way of tv repairmen and travel agents. The most successful print model I can think of is the Wall Street Journal. They are getting decent subscription rates for their online version and while it does cannibalize their print version to a point it also supplements their bottom line. The threshold of profit is to be lower for online vs. print so the price should be as well!


Would you rather read a boat test or watch a 8-10 minute video like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5mBk6gRifw ?
Unlike newspapers and select magazines, subscriptions rates and newsstand stand sales were never significant parts of the revenue model in vertical (niche) consumer magazines. Your subscription rate does not begin to cover costs, much less constitute profit. Advertising has always been the No. 1 revenue stream for these publications.

As for your question: Sometimes I would rather read a magazine article, sometimes I'd rather watch a video. I have my feet in both worlds. It is not a "one or the other proposition." I enjoy multiple forms of media. I can't wait to get an iPad and take it on vacation. My only worry is dropping it in the sand on the beach. If I do that with a magazine, it becomes a coaster for my margarita. It's no big deal.

I will say that magazines that want to survive need to find better ways to compliment their print product with their Internet product, and vice versa. No one has totally nailed it and no one will because it's all still evolving, and what looks like the answer today will seem dated tomorrow. That's how it works online (and I say that not as a self-proclaimed expert, just as someone who worked for and with boats.com for 11 years).
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:31 AM
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The problem with magazines in this day and age - an age characterized by what I call the "now generation," - is the simple fact that magazines are periodicals, and by nature can never have anything from the here and now. I have no use for month old information any longer. The other aspect that many publication fail to capitalize on is interaction. Take the Miami boat show for instance. While it was happening live, pictures were streaming onto OSO by many members. You wanted something specific, you asked, and a couple hours later someone posts it. It's old news now, but I'd be willing to bet that many boating publications are just now stocking their boat show issues. Meanwhile most have already forgotten about it. Take any event for that matter. You'll usually find a report and photos posted the very same evening. We are developing an ever-increasing and insatiable appetite for content delivered NOW.

Some folks argue that they like to have and hold paper in their hands, but that necessity is really on the decline with all of portable electronic options available. It's old media; I personally have no need for it.

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Old 03-21-2011, 01:13 PM
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It might be old media, but most on here own boats that are far older than last year's issue of Powerboat. Just sayin. I think the two mediums can be combined effectively into a newer business model. It's still nice to have the paper magazine, and iPad access would be great as well. As a book reader type app, it would almost have the same look and feel. But with enables links, tests with audio/video tie-ins. Direct links to boat makers sites, product sites, all of that. Printed media contains links as well in most every article.

BoatTest.com has some of the very best online tests IMO. here's one here http://www.boattest.com/boats/boat_video.aspx?ID=271


I had worked on a business model several years ago that would revolve around product reviews and retail sales. Not in the boating area, but similar in scope. To date, sans the retail store option, the only similar model I've seen is CNET.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:03 PM
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Just to put the print media in perspective........

Today Google's stock closed at $576 (per share)

Last year BellSouth didn't even print a phone book!

If the phone company is not printing a phone book annually and Google stock is looking like Berkshire Hathaway then the handwritting is on the wall with print media of any type.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:47 PM
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Due to corporate leashes, we never really had the chance to get Speedboat off the ground, but I have high hopes for Sportboat and hope that you all give us the support you gave for the first issue. We're working on some great stories and hope to give you a quality magazine to coincide with the unofficial start of summer.
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:10 PM
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Due to corporate leashes, we never really had the chance to get Speedboat off the ground, but I have high hopes for Sportboat and hope that you all give us the support you gave for the first issue. We're working on some great stories and hope to give you a quality magazine to coincide with the unofficial start of summer.

Please keep us informed when the next issue is available.

Thanks
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:36 PM
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Due to corporate leashes, we never really had the chance to get Speedboat off the ground, but I have high hopes for Sportboat and hope that you all give us the support you gave for the first issue. We're working on some great stories and hope to give you a quality magazine to coincide with the unofficial start of summer.
Isn't Sportboat Gregg Mansfields new mag?
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jupiter Sunsation View Post
Just to put the print media in perspective........

Today Google's stock closed at $576 (per share)

Last year BellSouth didn't even print a phone book!

If the phone company is not printing a phone book annually and Google stock is looking like Berkshire Hathaway then the handwritting is on the wall with print media of any type.
Only an idiot would argue that Google isn't incredibly successful. However, Google is first and foremost a search engine. It is not what you'd call a content site, as are the online versions of the Journal and other print media sources.

You're right, Jupe, infornation is going more and more online. I can't telll you how much basic fact-checking I do (although you have to watch it because there's often conflicing information ... Wikipedia flat out sucks in that regard) online.

Trust me, I'm bullish on the Internet. It's provided more than half of my income for the past 11 years and likely will provide even more than that as it continues to evolve. But there are still plenty of people who enjoy print, and some of them—a lot more than than the 20-somethings who will never read anything that isn't digital—are of the age and means to buy performance boats.

Now, when that generation dies, you might just be onto something ...

Last edited by Matt Trulio; 03-22-2011 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:19 AM
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Only an idiot would argue that Google isn't incredibly successful. However, Google is first and foremost a search engine. It is not what you'd call a content site, as are the online versions of the Journal and other print media sources.

You're right, Jupe, infornation is going more and more online. I can't telll you how much basic fact-checking I do (although you have to watch it because there's often conflicing information ... Wikipedia flat out sucks in that regard) online.

Trust me, I'm bullish on the Internet. It's provided more than half of my income for the past 11 years and likely will provide even more than that as it continues to evolve. But there are still plenty of people who enjoy print, and some of them—a lot more than than the 20-somethings who will never read anything that isn't digital—are of the age and means to buy performance boats.

Now, when that generation dies, you might just be onto something ...
My google/phone book analogy was simply inferring that the print is on the way out (even with the most basic/free things like a phone book) and the internet is surging forward to fill that gap (google is the gateway to that surge).

Phone book only got referred to since my wife wanted to throw out the 2009 one we have. I told her no way, you might never get another and what if the power/internet is out and you need to call someone!
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:05 AM
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My google/phone book analogy was simply inferring that the print is on the way out (even with the most basic/free things like a phone book) and the internet is surging forward to fill that gap (google is the gateway to that surge).

Phone book only got referred to since my wife wanted to throw out the 2009 one we have. I told her no way, you might never get another and what if the power/internet is out and you need to call someone!
Your wife wanted to throw away a perfectly good doorstop? Shame on her.
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