A Smart move? In the case of Interview, I doubt it; Utne Reader, yes indeed.October 15, 2009
Can you imagine forking over $9.00 for one issue of a magazine and being welcomed inside with an invite to get the entire year of the magazine for only $8.00? But wait, there is more, if you double your order we will send you two years of the magazine for only $14.00. I am not making this thing up. I picked up the 40th anniversary issue of Interview magazine and paid my $9.00 cover price to be stunned (well, not really, since nothing surprises me any more about our industry) with all kinds of magazine subscription offers, such as 10 issues for $8 and 20 issues for $14. I understand the need to discount your subscription rates 20, 30, 40 and even 70% of the cover price, but to have a subscription rate lower than the price of one copy of the magazine, that is insane in my book. Interview, your subscription cards spoiled the beauty and value of my 40th anniversary issue. You owe me a one year subscription and an extra issue!
On the other hand, Utne Reader has increased the size of the magazine, the cover price and the subscription price. Putting their money where their mouth is, the magazine decided to go after customers who count and who are willing to pay the real price of the magazine. No more discounts. The difference between the July/August prices, and that of September/October is really stunning. (I know I just said earlier that nothings surprises me any more, but this one was a pleasant surprise.) The cover price is now $6.95 up $2 from the previous one, and the subscription rate for six issues is $36.00 up from $9.99. Check it out for yourself and see how some folks are aiming to make their money from the customers who count: the readers.