RSS

Readers Speak Out

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Proof that Print is Dead and Why it Should Be

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Proof that Print is Dead and Why it Should Be

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Proof that Print is Dead and Why it Should Be     Re:…

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted March 17, 2015
    (0) Comments

  • Making Sense of the Nonsensical Newsstand

    Making Sense of the Nonsensical Newsstand

    It has been a very interesting and active week for publishers everywhere. The news of Source Interlink ceasing operation and the release of 6,000 workers is dramatic and traumatic to say the least. To those that track the industry the news of SID closing is not a surprise, but perhaps the speed of the demise was.  Time Inc.'s announcement this week combined with the Bauer Publications' decision about three weeks ago to pull out of SID put the final nail in the coffin.

    As reported many times in my newsletter and in the New York Times recently, "In the last five years, the retail magazine business has shrunk 50 percent, to less than $3 billion. And while there were hundreds of magazine wholesalers in the 1990s, the industry has consolidated into just a few major players in recent years: Source Interlink, TNG and Hudson News."

    This turmoil has no end in sight. The sales we have lost as an industry in the last five years have little likelihood of returning. What we need to do is somewhere finally reach a sales plateau from which we can work on growth as an industry and as individual titles.

    For my part there is ongoing and absurd doggerel from some members of our industry that the newsstand is a small part of the publishing business and its fall has little to do with the health of the magazine business. This thinking is part of a larger identity problem we are having and is patently not true, at least not true for most of the magazine industry.

    The big guys -- you know who I mean -- don't really need the newsstand and have the bucks and the infrastructure to create and do as they will, and they will survive nicely, at least for a while. I do think their hugeness and current profits blind them from long term generational thinking. A newsstand presence gives a magazine and an entire industry visibility as an industry with the consumer. And conversely a lack of visibility breeds long term irrelevance. But perhaps that's the plan. The demise of an infrastructure not thought be needed by the current giants.

    Jill Davison, a Time Inc. spokeswoman, said recently, "The regional markets that Source Interlink served -- Southern California, Chicago, and the Mid-Atlantic States -- might face shortages of popular Time magazines like People and Sports Illustrated for up to 12 weeks."

    Disruption in the newsstand field for 3 months at least is lost sales, the kind that will never come back. Humans are creatures of habit. This disruption will no doubt create new non-newsstand habits in some of our old and trusted readers, thereby hastening an already depressed newsstand.  Is there another interpretation that I am missing? CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted June 02, 2014
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out: Interpreting the Sober Facts and True Conditions of our Industry

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Interpreting the Sober Facts and True Conditions of our Industry

    BoSacks Speak Out: Sometimes I just have to put the tequila aside and deliver a sobering report to the industry to offset some irrational exuberance.  I do this because I love the magazine media industry, and I don't want anyone to misinterpret the facts and true conditions of our industry.

    First, we are not dead, dying or otherwise crippled into irrelevance.  Print will be around for generations to come and be loved and cherished by many. That being said, whatever you read elsewhere, we are still and continue to be in a position of readjustment and weight loss. We are no longer the dominant player we once were. Sure there are more magazines than ever before, but that notation is irrelevant when you consider the fact that we continue to sell fewer and fewer magazines year in and year out.  And revenue, despite many singular and quite excellent print successes, continues to decline in the industry.  The pinnacle for magazines based on quantity is long gone and a decade in the past.  Click Here for the full Article

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted April 05, 2014
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Rate Base, NS Distributors, Mag Circ and more

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Rate Base, NS Distributors, Mag Circ and more


    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: PULP FICTION? The Candid Conversation about Rate Base

    Bob:  I have worried for years that if everyone got a handle on their rate base and printed magazines closer to the actual sell through, that us "paper guys" would be out of business even faster than we are seeing.  I hope, from my side of the fence, that they continue to do the stupid things they have been doing. 

    (Submitted by a paper salesperson)

     

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: PULP FICTION? The Candid Conversation about Rate Base

    Bob, nobody else in the industry could have written that article. Bravo to you for saying out loud what everybody else whispers. We need a better system of accountability without the inherent fraud. Numbers do matter, and we need them, but not the numbers worked out from a time of plenty and no competition. The earth and publishing is no longer flat. We need better systems.

    (Submitted by a Print advertising sales person)

      

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: PULP FICTION? The Candid Conversation about Rate Base

    Bo, I agree completely with your comments and the consensus of industry leaders on rate bases.  I think the reason there is so much resistance to moving away from them is that most senior magazine publishing executives with decision making power have grown up with circulation guarantees, rate bases and advertising driven business models.  Change is tough, especially when there is risk associated with it.

     

    Maybe publishers can find a way to group together (without collusion) to gradually move to a different business model with less risk.  I'm sure that most consumer marketers would be very comfortable and could improve their bottom lines if relieved of the rate base restriction.

    (Submitted by an Industry Consultant) 

     CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE
    by Bob Sacks
    Posted February 22, 2014
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Journalism, Flipboard, and Media Moguls

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Journalism, Flipboard, and Media Moguls


    Re: The Problem Isn't The Things We Don't Know, It's The Things We Know That Ain't So 

    I enjoyed reading Jim Gilmartin's article, "The Problem Isn't the Things We Don't Know, It's the Things We Know That Ain't So."  His point was that marketers often base their decisions on assumptions that aren't supported by facts.  What's interesting is that the assertions he made in the article weren't supported by facts either.  Not one of his many statements and claims was sourced or documented.  Very entertaining stuff, but it's hard to tell which part of the story is complete fabrication: the illogical marketers or the "facts" that prove them wrong.  Maybe both!   (Submitted by a Publisher and an official BoSacks Cub Reporter)

    RE: Putting journalism cart before advertising horse 

    I would disagree with his basic premise that putting the journalism "cart" before the advertising "horse" is a mistake. What must come first is the interest of the customer, if a business is to survive. One of the problems of media is that, for too long, it treated audience as secondary rubes there to support the ad carnies. His barely-disguised contempt in mentioning the "minor revenues" of Ezra Klein tells just as much. If the business can be healthy with low revenue and even lower cost of production and distribution, what is the problem? Other than not offering the luxe professional lifestyle that media is "supposed" to confer? Maybe those who lived and worked sumptuously have much to answer for regarding the current state of the industry, wasting money and energy, expecting others to scrape by so that they could continue with an accustomed lifestyle?  (Submitted by a Writer)  FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted February 06, 2014
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Native Advertising, Vogue's Print Ads, Conde Interns, Newsweek.

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Native Advertising, Vogue's Print Ads, Conde Interns, Newsweek.

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Native Advertising, Vogue's Print Ads, Conde Interns, Newsweek. 

     

    RE: Native Advertising

    I know I'm a little late with this opinion, Bo, but regarding "Native Advertising" or whatever we're calling it, this is my take, which I stand behind personally and publicly:

     

    When we make content decisions driven by any criterion other than what the reader finds most interesting, we're damaging the relationship between our brands and our audiences. If we are to preserve the value of branded content, we'll have to continue to draw a vivid distinction between our content and the content sponsored by advertisers.

     

    Engagement is the only meaningful measure of our success. It's the foundation of our business.

     

    In the current media environment - replete with alternative sources of content - we in the branded-content business are distinguished by the fact that we share our audiences' passions and that we are authorities in our fields. Plus, we measure the reader's engagement with every piece of content to make sure we understand their preferences. Then we serve those preferences, exclusively.

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted September 15, 2013
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On  Defending Print the Right Way

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Defending Print the Right Way

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Defending Print the Right Way

    Hello Bob,  I wanted to send you a brief note regarding your AR article:

    AR is a technology that obviously has some very effective applications in the print world, however I agree with your caution expecting it to be the savior of print. Like most all medications, very effective when administered at the right time for the right ailment but no one medication cures all!

    (Submitted by an Industry Consultant)

     

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Defending Print the Right Way

    Hi Bo.  I completely agree and if my memory is correct this was one of our conversations when we first met. 

    One minor distinction that may be worth noting is that a large portion of the printed word appears on packages (rather than publications), where AR, QR or new platforms such as Touchcode may have a bit more utility.  Best Regards and I look forward to seeing you in October.

    (Submitted by a senior manager of an Industry Supplier)

     

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Defending Print the Right Way

    Outstanding and thoughtful article. I agree with you, as good as AR can be, and useful too, in the right conditions, it is a distraction to the printed product of a magazine. Where it should be used and is hardly ever visible is in point of sale situations. When consumers are in the store and the cell phone is out and in hand already with price comparison shopping. That is the right time for 2D codes to be ever present. It could MAKE the sale. All print packaging should be loaded with AR, and magazines less so.   (Submitted by a Publisher)  FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

    Posted August 31, 2013
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Facts on Mag Circ, IDEAlliance Response:  Magazine Ad Revenues Plunge

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Facts on Mag Circ, IDEAlliance Response: Magazine Ad Revenues Plunge

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Facts on Mag Circ, IDEAlliance Response:  Magazine Ad Revenues…

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted August 09, 2013
    (0) Comments

  • 1
  • 2
Copyright ¬© Agility Inc. 2017