Monday, January 10, 2011

Subscription time

Over the holidays I did a bit of tidying up of the piles of paper stacked up on my home desk and uncovered a letter from Yachting World reminding me to renew my subscription, which I had forgotten.

What was interesting was I hadn't really noticed it had lapsed and for several months at that. That made me pause and question if it was still right for me.

Couple of possibilities sprang to mind. Partly its the overload of information that comes from the web: there's so much to read that filtering becomes really important. The web is also mostly free, more up to date, more varied both in content and also type of media.

Of course there is an App for that, but even the wonder tablet iPad has not proved so far to be the saviour of the publishing industry. Take this article on the Guardian Media web site which describes the low and falling iPad subscription rates.

But it makes me wonder whether the model itself is wrong: the very concept of an organisation packaging for us the readers a set of articles and then charging for the complete package. We live much more in a pick and mix environment, and want to select which articles we read for ourselves.

But of course that's still for the future. For the next few editions I'll be browsing in the newsagent, checking out the index before deciding to put my hard earned £ 3.90 on the counter for a copy.


Bursledon Blogger said...

You're right on the money with this post JP, I gave up reading yachtie magazines years ago, partly because there was nothing very much of interest and mostly because I used to get annoyed with much of the writing.

All those stories about how I rowed out to check my mooring or "I'm a yachtmaster sailing my Mooderly Ocean-Bore and couldn't understand why the keel fell off when the GPS clearly said those rocks were 200 yards from where I was!!"

There is just so much better stuff written by the blogging community these days

O Docker said...

I think I agree with Bursledon Blogger.

Frankly, I haven't looked at most of the slicks in so long that they may now have changed, but they used to seem so slanted towards promoting advertisers' products that they weren't of much interest to me.

I much prefer the candor and edgy humor I find in blogs and unsponsored websites. The writing in major rags now seems so stiff, safe, and predictable by contrast.

The odds are very good that I will never buy a boat that's anything close to being new, so what really is the point of reading all of those boat reviews?

And, if you're interested in recent racing results, or frank behind-the-scenes commentary, you're more likely to find that online, out of the mainstream, too.

If Buff starts writing for Yachting World let me know. I may reconsider.

JP said...

Carefully O'Docker, don't want to be giving Buff ideas (and I'm sure he'd be interested in a Mooderly Ocean-Bore!)

But its true that they are clearly focussed on advertising as their main revenue source.

As I've just posted, not sure their model is the right one now.