Counting Customers or Customers Who Count? The Self-Inflicting Ills of the Magazine Industry

May 17, 2012

The magazine business model drama continues… It is amazing that after all this talk about the new magazine business model and how it is going to be more “consumer centric,” to receive offers to  subscribe to some great-name-brand magazines for a mere $5.00 for five or six issues (That is at least 80% discount of the cover price).  There is no need to blame customers and consumers for the decline in single copy sales, and there is no need to blame the tablets for that decline either.  There is no one to blame but the magazine publishing industry itself.  Publishers willing to sell a magazine like Wired, Vanity Fair or GQ for a mere $5.00 for the entire year, need to blame no one but themselves if their newsstands sales are declining.  For the magazine industry to survive and thrive we have to start charging the fair value for the content and experience magazines deliver, whether on the newsstand, digital or by subscription.  Otherwise, if we continue to be in the business of counting customers and not the business of customers who count, the magazine business can easily see the writing on the wall… and that writing is NOT good news!  Take a look at the latest offer that arrived in my inbox this morning…

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