Shrinking Magazines

Yachting Monthly's June issue had an interesting letter from a reader expressing disappointment at its 'diminished value' having shrunk from 200 pages in 2006 to 100 pages today.

YM responded by saying the number of editorial pages had only dropped from 80 to 76.

They didn't address the more interesting question of how the title is still viable with 24 pages of Ads rather than the 120 it had 10 years ago.

Part of the answer must be that, while magazine production costs have fallen significantly thanks to digital reproduction technology, IPC's (now Time Inc's) advertising rates have not followed suit.

With advertisers now also having to spread their budgets across a growing array of digital media, the net result is less advertising in print.

Smaller businesses in particular can't afford it, and that's not good for the marine industry as a whole.

Thinner mags have left readers aggrieved that they're getting a poor deal – some clearly welcome more Ads.

None of this need have happened. If magazines were to pass on those production cost savings, by lowering their rates, they might well achieve similar earnings as more businesses could afford to advertise.

The magazines would be bigger, readers wouldn't feel they're getting less value, and MY and others might even have kept more of their 2006 readership.

rp@cp-uk.com

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