Magazines for 18 Cents (Yes, Cents) a Copy? Can That Be a Sign of an Industry Healing or Hurting?November 22, 2012
I know it is Thanksgiving Day, but the offer that I just received from the folks at Hearst magazines (which by the way I’ve accepted and responded to) was too good to be true. I know this is not the first year that I receive such an offer and I know that I am not the only one to receive it. The “Exclusive Holiday Sale” offers most of Hearst magazines (Think O, The Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Esquire, House Beautiful, Cosmopolitan, etc.) in the United States for a mere five dollars a year! That is less than the price of one copy of some of their magazines. Missing from the offer are Hearst’s newest entries Food Network magazine and HGTV magazine. Of course there is a catch, when you sign for the magazines you are signing for automatic renewal for upcoming years at the most current prices at that time. Needless to say that you can cancel at any time and enjoy the five-dollar subscriptions for the whole year until you receive another “exclusive holiday offer” next year.
Doing the math will result in getting 18 titles for $91.99 (I have no idea why I was charged $6.99 for Car and Driver), that is a total of 165 magazines at the average price of less than 18 cents a copy… Wow! I can’t but wonder whether the magazine industry will ever change to an industry that is more of an industry in search of customers who count rather than just counting customers? I am starting to have my doubts about such a change in the magazine world, so maybe the “good ol’ days” are coming back and the industry as a whole, with its old business model, and those ridiculous prices are a sign of an industry on its way to heal and not a desperate sign of an industry that continues to hurt but refuses to change its way. You know how our friends the Chinese define insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results every time.
Interested in getting your own magazine subscriptions for 18 cents a copy click here.