Newspaper workers like to think their news gathering skills keep readers interested in their product, but no matter how well they do their jobs, crummy billing and delivery execution drive readers away from the struggling industry.
print is dead
Billed as the first interactive, all-digital science textbook, Life on Earth will teach students about the birds, bees, flowers and trees — and do so for free.
An audio equipment magnate dug into his pockets, fished out some loose pocket change and bought Newsweek in August for $1. We’re not talking about a single issue at a news stand, but the entire magazine operation.
Earlier this week, the L.A. Times ran a fake front page — chock full of stories intended to sell NBC’s new L.A.-based Law & Order franchise — and guess what? Readers of the paper weren’t exactly pleased with the bit of crass badvertising.
As magazines continue to struggle, some are treating subscribers the way Tommy Boy does biscuits that represent Callahan brake pad sales contacts. Take Rick, who was good enough to pay upfront for two years of Reader’s Digest, and now must field offers from the company to renew the four-month-old subscription:
It’s easy to imagine most newspapers ceasing print editions, but surely stalwarts such as the New York Times will always stick around in physical form, if only to serve tradition, right? Wrong, says Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the New York Times chairman and publisher.
When my dog, Goose, died last year, my then-2-year-old son rationalized “Goose is God’s dog now.” It seemed as positive a rationalization as possible to put on an untimely passing. So now I have to believe that, when headed to the crapper, God must be taking a rolled-up copy the beloved-but-obviously-not-beloved-enough-to-be-kept-alive Paste magazine with him. That’s presuming Paste went to periodical heaven and not where George magazine ended up.
Amy tried to buy her grandma a present that would show up regularly in her mailbox and keep her occupied. The Reader’s Digest subscription she bought her fit the bill, but not the way Amy hoped because the magazine kept insisting that Granny owed $20.
Sure, times are difficult in the newspaper business, and new and innovative ways to attract readers are essential right now. However, we can go ahead and not recommend this method. Laura writes that the carrier for her local weekly paper subscribed everyone on her route by default, and left a cheerful note telling them to call customer service if they didn’t want it.
Playboy has got things all backwards — the fabled skin rag has made a web site that leaves the nude pictures behind.
Cash-strapped fishwraps all over the world are watching the Times of London’s new content paywall business model. How’s that working out for them? Depending on how you look at the numbers and whether you value total visitors or pageviews, the newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., lost either two-thirds or 90 percent of their online readership since the pay walls were erected.
Jay thinks his home and garden are just fine, thank you very much, and has no desire to make either better. And yet Better Homes and Gardens popped up in his mailbox as well as a $6 invoice for an annual subscription. He can’t find a way to stop the unwanted magazine, writing:
Conde Nast announced plans to bring back the shuttered Gourmet Magazine as a free iPad app that gets users to pay for free stuff along the way with virtual currency, Farmville style.
New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller announced that the paper will be charging for access to its articles early next year.
Here is the question that plagues the magazine industry at the moment. Reader Danielle likes Real Simple magazine and is a subscriber. However, there are so many ads in it that it’s ruining the experience for her. To make matters worse, the entire magazine is on their website… with fewer ads. So why should she subscribe?