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Thursday, 09 August 2012

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I suspect photo magazines (the American ones, anyway) are a threatened species. The problem is the 'net, of course. In a photo magazine, you read what the magazine's editors think the public wants to read. On the 'net, you ask questions and get involved in discussions about what YOU want to read. The net allows a kind of specificity and depth that you can't get from magazines: an ocean of Canon stuff for Canon users, Nikon stuff for Nikon users, etc. Much of it may be bs, but that was also true of most magazines.

The British have something of an answer to the net: one-off magazines that are "Everything you need to know about Lightroom," which actually may bring together a bunch of decent articles about Lightroom, in a way that the net would be hard-pressed to duplicate. I think American publishers may have a hard time getting their heads about this: instead of (say) 12 magazines issued annually called "Pop Photography" which has the same kinds of articles in each one (lens reviews, software comments, etc.) the British publisher may issue 12 magazines annually, but with each one on a specific topic, and the topics are very diverse. It's a conceptual difference.

Come to Aussie, Mike, where we seem to have *too many* photography magazines.

It seems ironic that all those magazines are filled with photographs.

I see a trend at local bookstores of expanding digital photography recipes section and shrinking books about photography section. I had to ask where is photography section last time I went at one of them and it turns out it is reduced to one shelf.

I asked one of our stores in Chilliwack, B.C., why no camera magazines? It seems to depend on the company that supplies the magazines, and for some reason they have deemed camera magazines a non seller. It's odd, because in the next store that has a reasonable selection they quickly sells out...... The trend seems to be towards a more expensive magazines and they do sell. All the media talks about is the death of print, yet the niche area seems to be surviving nicely....so far.

Just in case you want to know, fantasy football (baseball/hockey/cycling/etc) is a way to gamble on sporting events without having to respect the various laws which usually accompany such activities.

I still see quite a few camera magazines and books these days, i.e. ones that talk about gear and how to push the buttons, but not nearly as many actual photography magazines.

How much of the market for "how to" photography magazines has been killed by the automation of cameras and the rise of the smart phones? E.g., my friend's Sony HX100V did a very creditable job of a nightscape with balanced flash on the foreground: it was handheld and the only technical knowledge required was turning the mode dial to the right place.

The basic mechanics of photography are simple once your understand the components and their relationship (ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. The hardest part is the art). How many keen beginners start buying photographic magazines then find that the same techniques are being represented in different ways so justifiably close their wallets?

I have yet to see a photographic magazine which primarily goes beyond the technical and mechanistic aspects of photography in order to cover the the thought provoking aspects of photography such as those covered by Alain Briot and those found in the book The Photographer's Mind. It's also very rare to see articles that describe the psychoemotional effects that elements of art have on viewers.

My impression of the photographic magazine market is that plenty of milk is offered for the beginners, and very, very little meat for the rest of us. How many people stop buying magazines when milk is no longer satisfying?

There's also competition from the internet.

I still have subscriptions to Shutterbug and PopPhoto since I find it awkward to use the iPad on the cr*pper.

I'd agree about the increasing irrelevance of generic paper magazines. The best magazine around is a daily, and it's called TOP! The second best, but far too sparse in updates, is Luminous Landscape. If I want gear news, I go to DP Review. The only magazine left that I still buy is French and is called Réponses Photo, but it's been many months now that I ask myself why I bother, as 80% of the content is of no immediate interest to me and I find better technical tips on plenty of websites. I guess I still need some paper in my life...

I was asked to give some advice to my local independent and family owned supermarket (there are not too many of those, at least in the UK). They were having a remodel and a bit of a re-launch in an attempt to become a little more of a delicatessen and go upmarket.


Anyway, their news-stand area was a victim of this - it disappeared, replaced by a much more modest little stand containing newspapers. The reason? You make more money per square foot of shelf space by selling higher margin things like good wine, estate bottled olive oil and so on. The owner was also not sad to lose the administrative headache of stocking magazines that few people bought, or returning unsold magazines in some complex arrangement.

"It seems ironic that all those magazines are filled with photographs."

Exactly Paul, every magazine is a photography magazine. You stole my thunder :-).

@John, Cook's Illustrated does very well with the one-off concept.

For many US magazines, 2 months off the self price is equal to a year subscription. It makes no sense to buy regularly from a news stand.

When travelling an ipad is the way to go - with more magazines than you could carry and with easy access to niche publications that might once have been only found on the shelves of Barnes & Noble and Borders,

Zinio is good for overseas content and apple's newsstand for the mainstream publications.

Hmm. I didn't notice that when I was in the US. Wasn't paying attention. Here on the other side of the planet in Malaysia, photo magazines are alive and well. However, they are mostly of the technical and gear-related types. Plenty of milk for beginners only, as Mandeno pointed out above.

There is "Black & White" and "Silvershotz" to name a couple, but I guess in reality, those titles tend to have collectors in mind as well as profiles of various established and in and coming photographers.

Not ideal, not too many "how to" articles, but still nice to look at from time to time, if ony for inspiration and to be reminded that there are still a few out there practicing traditional photography.

I was over in May, and noticed that at the airports (Detroit, Denver, Minneapolis) there were (a) no photography magazines and (b) at least three magazines devoted to tatooing. I like to pick up a copy of American Photo when I'm over, and the only place I could find one this time was a bookstore in downtown Boulder. However, they also stocked Aperture. The magazine industry is having a tough time everywhere.

In the UK we have the excellent British Journal of Photography, relaunched with great elan a couple of years ago and now essential reading (and also has a very good iPad app,) and then lots of art-oriented bimonthlies and quarterlies such as Hotshoe, Source and Photoworks. Also lots of good European magazines: Apart from BJP, Black & White Photography remains the least gear-oriented and most content-rich of the newsstand monthlies. The rest are pretty much either pure advertorial or so visually conservative that reading them is like putting on a prickly tweed suit in midsummer.

I harbour a dark suspicion that some of the energy that goes into gear (as opposed to photography) reading matter and acquisition in the UK might well migrate to Guns & Ammo-type stuff if guns were legal here, but that's another meme altogether.

General photography magazines (shutterbug, popphoto, etc) have not really changed, despite the introduction of the internet.

They seem to think that their main task is to inform about what's new on the market, and to produce equipment tests that will not turn away advertisers.

1) "the internet" produces better equipment tests

2) "news" in these magazines is not really news. When the PMA was held in January or February, I'd read about it in the July/August issue of the magazine. Now, even when you keep in mind that the July/August issue hits the newsstands late May (another silly magazine behavior) that's still a bit... late.

So, not current and no neutral tests, when 90% of the editorial material is "news" and "tests". I'm not surprised that those magazines are not sold (at premium prices) in the supermarkets.

Subscriptions, yes. But that's because the average subscription to those magazines is around $4 per year and that price is competitive with toilet paper. I do prefer toilet paper though; it's more comfortable.

While not answering the circulation question for the universe of photo-oriented magazines, my search for "Popular Photography magazine circulation" returned a link to what appears to be an Audit Bureau of Circulation report on not only the magazine but related publications such as Web and iPad:

http://www.accessabc.com/pdfs/popphotocmr_1211.pdf

The report covers the 2nd half of 2011 and shows the print magazine's paid circulation hovered around 320,000. The print version figures appear significantly (20 times) larger than the digital version.

I don't know how those 2011 figures compare with, say, the magazine's circulation of 10 years ago.

The Media Kit posted on the popphoto.com Web site contains a circulation number a bit larger at 350,000.

http://www.popphoto.com/files/_attachments_articles/2012_pp_media_kit.pdf

Bob

I'm letting my subscriptions to all photo magazines expire; I'm tired of reading the same stuff over and over and less and less of it is of any interest to me. I want to get just one nice high quality magazine devoted entirely to photography - and not what hardware/software/post processing was used in its making.

I am not in the US, but it is not surprising that magazines of many types are disappearing. By the time the information in them makes it into print, it is old news that we have read about on the Internet.

Many are moving online in one way or another. Even Lens Work, a very high quality magazine that is about photos and the art of photography, has an online in PDF version available. The expanded version of LW in PDF includes audio and occasionally video interviews. Paper magazines cannot do that.

There are many photography-related magazines available here in Japan, but unfortunately, a large, large percentage of them are primarily devoted to cameras and equipement. Unless I am buying a new camera and need a detailed review of the features, sensor, etc that I cannot find on the Internet, I do not bother. Magazines concerning the art of photography exist with some being very good---Photographia was my favorite, but it seems to have gone the way of the dodo. Because it had no camera/equipment reviews?

I stopped buying US magazines of all types several years ago. Didn't need to pay for ads that most are filled with, and did not see anything in them that I could not find better-covered online, often in an online version of the rag. Good riddance.

Bought one magazine in about 2005, for reference, prior to buying my first digital camera. Before that, I bought a few around about 1981/82, when first getting in to photography.

Generally found their content to be lacking (basic and repetetive), and a lot of what was there, was available in more depth in books. The odd arty ones always seemed, well, odd and arty... to this engineer.

Obviously I was reading the wrong ones, and failed to find anything produced under your Editorship! I've endeavoured to make amends on that last point here, over the last few years.

Thank you Mike.

I usually buy about 5 photo magazines a month. Except for Shutterbug they are all English. For one thing they tend to have more pictures and hey I like to look at pictures. Your previous commenters do have a point, in that the content is skewed to beginners but that is hardly new, that's how I got out of the habit of reading Mom and Pop Photography sometime in the early 70's. I guess I am lucky to have a local newsstand that carries a large selection of photography magazines including a few that are truly weird. Somebody is buying them.

Recently I was surprised to see Photo District News, Digital Photo Pro and B&W on a few grocery store stands in town, along with the usual PopPhoto, Shutterbug and Outdoor Photographer assortment.

Yes ... the times they are changing.

Once there was a time when Wikipedia authors referred to text books or magazine articles. Yesterday I read an article in a photo magazine where the author refers to Wikipedia as the source of his information.

In response to J, I use my iPad on the crapper all the time. I am careful, however. LOL.

I was just flying to the west coast and I always go into the Hudson News places to buy a magazine. I was actually surprised, and disappointed, to see Shutterbug September issue there, when I had to wait another week to get it on Zinio, the app I use on the iPad.

When I sent an email to Zinio asking why that was the case (after about 2 days of trying to find their email address, etc., which was maddeningly frustrating), they said the publishers print the mag, put it out, send to them, and they have to first digitize it.

It was a struggle not to buy it or even look at it.

Loads of magazines on UK shelves, including some that are not even gear related, such as Professional Photographer, Black and White Photography and hoards of photoshop mags. Amateur Photographer has kept a reasonable balance of gear reviews and articles on photographers and images. Yes there are LOADS of "What Digital Camera" type magazines that sell loads of advertising and recommend almost every camera they review, but these are a waste of money on the whole (IR and DPreview do a much better job with comparisons that are easier to analyse).

As a hobby? Photography in the UK has never been as popular as far as I can tell and most good news agents sell at least three or four titles.

T N Args - spot on. Mike, come to Australia!

I am a magazine addict and I would say there are at least 15 magazines regularly on sale here, including Pop Photo, Shutterbug (where was it when I wanted it in the 90s?), Camera Australia, Pro Photo Australia, (both superb magazines!) all the UK photo mags, many, many.

Sorry Mike, you are living in the wrong country. I'm sated.

But I agree, I'm buying fewer because the web, (including you!) is superseding paper mags. Zinio is the word.

PS: my cousin is editor of Australian Hi-Fi and has been for many, many years (hi Greg). That is a great mag too, but I do think it should move to electronic form. Business models rule, however? I don't know the facts.

My local supermarket generally has (I'm going from memory) at least three photography magazines, maybe four, on its shelves. I think we should be careful about drawing conclusions from just one newsstand, whether it's yours or mine. Here are some recent circulation figures: Popular Photography: 400,000; Outdoor Photographer: 215,000; Shutterbug: 120,000. By way of comparison, People magazine has a circulation of about 3.5 million, less than 10x that of Pop Photo, in a magazine that's at nearly every supermarket checkout stand in the country.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention - there is an old Aussie company called Gordon & Gotch. They rule the magazine distribution business in Oz with an iron fist. Newsagents, take it or leave it. I have had many a discussion with news agent owners as to why this and that, and the answer is always the same - toe our line (G&G) or lose your supply.

For example: Photoshop Expert magazine is priced at about $22 per issue (more by now), out of the question, iow. When I wrote to the mag, they said "Prices are set by the local distributor". Can't do anything. Don't care. I have the emails!

I have had many a run-in with G&G in the past 40 years. Monopoly rules.

I also have documented evidence of being cheated by another three US magazines - subscribe, pay from here, but get no magazines. Want the evidence? Just ask me.

Plus One for "J", and also for "Args"...

I love magazines, and time was when a pal of mine in college and I used to go to a big magazine store in the downtown area of our city, once a month, and buy everything new we wanted, went home, and drank vodka gimlets and read magazines, trading our picks back and forth, while listening to Lou Reed and the Stones, dem was the days...magazines can be used in tub, or in my back pocket, or tossed, and LEFT, in the car, just to be there if I need to read for a moment...

To "args" point, when I travel to europe, or just about any of the "real" civilized world, I see tons of people, most of whom have far better access to technology than I have, reading magazines and newspapers, and fully stocked magazine stands, even out in the street, my god, like it used to be here in the 60's! My sister, who teaches in college, and I, always laugh when people tell us they don't buy books or magazines anymore, because they "read-online": they don't read online, the SCAN online, and barely read anything. It's amazing how many people tell me they've read the paper online, and when I want to talk about a page two local story of some import, they don't know what I'm talking about at all.

I fear that the LIE of telling people that you read media on line, is just another lazy way for Americans not to work at being informed. I remember the stats of the educated in America back in the 60's claiming they didn't even have a TV in their house, while they snuck into the basement to watch their hidden set. This is the new lie, telling people you read the news media online, while you just scan and pick out stuff you can read in two minutes, kind of like a crow picking up shiny objects. When I used to live in DC, it was apparent that almost anyone from a foreign country, bar maid to politician, was far better informed than Americans, now it's worse..

In San Francisco today, will be walking up Fillmore to Juicy News, and picking up a magazine, after I read the local paper with my cup of coffee...

But didn't the MacWorld have an article on InstaGram?? :)

The situation in the UK appears different. While I'm not sure how successful they are commercially, there are still a significant number of titles on general sale. Last week I visited WH Smith (large UK news and stationery retailer) and found it hard to spot a copy of Amateur Photographer, which I buy very occasionally, among all the other photo titles (see below for those on sale in UK). Most of these fail to rise beyond the usual tired tips and tricks, readers photos/comps and brief equipment reviews. The one title that does - and goes some or all the way to being Poagao's photography magazine is the British Journal of Photography - worth a look if you're familiar (I have no idea of international availability but there's an iPad version). Two/tree years ago this changed format from a thin weekly to a much more in depth, heavier and higher quality monthly.

~ Black & White Photography, Digital Camera, Digital Photo, Digital Photographer, Digital Photography & Design, Digital Photography Enthusiast, Digital SLR Photography, Lonely Planet's Guide To Travel Photography, N-Photo Magazine, Outdoor photography, PHOTO Techniques, Photography for Beginners, Photography Monthly, Photoplus, Popular Photography, Practical Photography, Professional Photographer, What digital camera.

I used to revel in a bi-weekly trip to a good magazine store to stock up on audio, photography, and car magazines. Alas, no longer.
Car magazines are still prevalent, but most of the main titles review, and/or cover, the same vehicles each month and have little differentiation.
Audio has shrunk to a few magazines talking about equipment no sane person can afford (except, it seems in Germany, where amongst other things, the DIY market is insane. See http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/speakertalk.htm)
And in this area (Western Canada) Shutterbug, with its shallow articles and copious ads reigns supreme, while there are Photoshop magazines and several others that ensure they mention the catch word of the 21st century, 'Digital'.
Ah, the only thing constant is change ...

I remember buying the last edition of Camera & Darkroom, the magazine that first introduced me to you and Ctein, and many varied and specialised photographic techniques. After the demise of that fine publication I felt that there were no photography magazines on the shelves either. Plenty of gear and how-to magazines, but none about photography.

Jeff

Most of the photo magazines have become gear guides, and after a while it gets boring.

All publications in print ie newsprint are struggling.
Information overload? Not so, more likely "we"
have too many other activities to occupy ourselves. And if you're publishing anything volume and price are the positive results. Then too as I've aged find I don't need/require to know every last bit of detail about all those maddening little items
that maybe only one in a million might require.
The age we dwell in is sadly becoming madder and madder. Maybe "Mad" magazine had it right, eh?

Oh and Gordon & Gotch rule the UK magaine titles here in Canada too, grossly overpriced and yes, often very late if and when they do appear on the newstands.

It also seems the magazine sections are shrinking here in the UK. Must be the web.
Also, now I'm lucking to find Amateur Photographer on the stands, there used to be three or four, ten years ago.

When I started in the late seventies, my native Denmark had two photo rags. Later, they were "merged", and now there's none. Neighbor Sweden had two *very* thick and *very* good ones, maybe one still survives, I'm not sure.

But it was surely a nice luxury to be able to buy, as a teenager, a high-quality photo mag at sometimes over 120 pages! Yum. ("Aktuell Fotografi") (My mother was swedish.)

I always had a hankering to make a magazine. And I do subscribe (mostly via Zinio) to several photo and art magazines. But our attention spans are so short these days, I wonder if the point is lost? I mean why make good 5-page articles if nobody gets through them?

Hmm, there's a guy called Mike Johnston from Wisconsin who is one of the culprits steering folks away from magazines ...

Two digital only photo magazines worth looking at are Adore Noir and Photographer's i

The first is published in PDF format and can be read on a computer but is perfect on the iPad, especially on the new one with the retina screen. It features black and white photography and interviews and is quite simply, superb.

Photographer's i is a new publication more along the lines with traditional photo magazines and is available for the iPad through its Newsstand subscription feature.

You can check out issues of these magazines and see that while the media is changing, the quality of what is being produced and distributed electronically has only increased.

Take a look yourself at:

http://www.adorenoir.com/

and

http://photographersi.co.uk/

Barnes & Noble carries the BJP, which is quite good. I can also pick it up in London at nearly any decent newsagent. A couple of places in Seattle also carry Black & White Photography (UK). I don't subscribe to either, as I prefer to encourage the magazine stores to keep stocking both titles.

All the "photo" magazines I see now are of course devoted to digital and I'm so far behind that curve I'll never catch up. I do stop in to Barns & Noble some times. It's so sad to hear about their decline. I suppose they will be totally gone soon and the only book shops will be local second hand bookstores. Lens Work just makes me envious (to quote Elwood Dowd "there is a little bit of envy in the best of us and that's too bad") but of course, the work is wonderful. As for the long time published Popular Photography, well, oh dear, what should I say? Best to shut up and keep my own opinions to myself.

does anyone know here PHOTO NEWS? That is an excellent magazine devoted to photography (i.e. no dicussion of gear, only of photographers and images).
A bit like TOP but in print (since 1988). Unfortunately, despite its name it is German only:

http://www.photonews.de/ueber_uns/
http://www.photonews.de/aktuelle_ausgabe/

Over here, the British Journal of Photography is one of the few things worth reading over the longer term. It covers industry news, many aspects of professional photography and current and older work. While many magazines go down-market and are cheaply and poorly designed, this looks good and is genuinely useful, as you mentioned at the time of its switch 'back' from a weekly to a monthly publication.

However, although I love reading good magazines, they haven't worked for me as an advertiser.

I've advertised photography related workflow training and support in almost every UK magazine, sometimes for months at a time (BJP included) but nothing has come close to the effectiveness of simply keeping a website going, even when that site is outdated, old fashioned and doesn't even contain the many testimonials we've been sent. Almost all our long-term customers found us using search engines and then submitted a contact form or called.

I suspect that many advertisers have found something similar. We're moving to an on-demand world: you want something, you Google it, you make a decision.

Costs for advertising in interactive magazine apps are so high, I haven't tried them but perhaps they're more effective.

Mike, get thee to Woodman's - they still carry a half dozen (or more) photography magazines. And you can get a few Reynold's Pasties while you're there, the best Nigerian frozen pasties known to man. ;)

Mike,
Of course there aren't any photo magazines: it's a FAMILY READING CENTER and, in 21st Century America, those photo magazines might have some naked people in them. Tsk, Tsk, none of that!

Mike, the photo you show from the Pick 'n Save (which sounds to me like an invitation to shoplift) labels that section "Family Reading Center." As you know, many photography magazines feature works from that ever popular genre, "The Nude." Could it be that your Pick 'n Save is somewhat overly sensitive along those lines when it comes to the "Family Reading Center?"

Jeff,
C&D had no substitute, but Phototechmag, during the "Johnston's years" was a very, very fine photo magazine. I had learned many techniques from that era.

Interesting that C&D had few ads....

Hélcio
bauru - Br

Dear Bob,

Thanks for that pointer to the ABC report. Here are some earlier numbers. In 2003, Pop's circulation was 460,000. In 1993, it was 780,000. In 1983, it was 860,000. So the total circulation started decline markedly in the nineties, well before the Web or digital photography had any important impact on the photography scene or on publications.

Further data points: Modern Photography, back in 1983, was 690,000, and my possibly-erroneous recollection is that both Shutterbug and Petersens were running around 300,000.

This doesn't tell the story, though. Much more relevant is the fraction of sales that were single copy/newsstand. In the ABC report, it's 5%. 10 years ago it was 7%, 20 years ago it was 9%, and 30 years ago it was 18%. Newsstand sales have been in steady decline for 30 years, percentagewise, as well as an absolute numbers; 30 years ago Pop Photography had 10 times the newsstand sales that it has today.

Newsstand sales are extremely problematical for magazines. Way back when (I don't know about now), they were the primary way you got new subscribers. Which made them a big plus. Especially since advertisers thought new subscribers were a better source of money than old. I don't know if there is any data that actually backs that up; advertisers believe an appalling number of stupid and incorrect things, like the 35-50 age group being the most important one for buying new products. But if advertisers think something is true, that's how they spend their bucks.

On the other hand, newsstand sales mean dealing with distributors. Peter Croft is not describing a unique situation. Pretty much everywhere, periodical distribution is either a monopoly or an oligopoly, and since distributors, when there's more than one, tend to specialize in certain kinds of publications, it still effectively works as a monopoly. In the not-so-good old days, having a good or a bad distributor would make or break a publication (for all I know that's still true). When a distributor went under, not only did you have to find a new distribution channel for your publication, but you'd frequently lose a couple of months worth of newsstand revenues because the distributor hadn't been paying their bills. (And when they asked you to extend them credit so they could pull out of their hole, what were you going to do? Cut your own throat by saying no?)

Older readers or those with good historical memories will recall that in the early 1950's newsstand racks were filled with what were called “pulps.” These included all the genre fiction magazines–– mysteries, westerns, romance, war stories, science fiction, adventure–– and a large number of crypto-factual publications, all those “True X" type magazines, which were written as though they were fact and everyone knew they weren't.

The reason almost all of them disappeared from the racks was that they were all handled by a distributor who specialized in pulps, and they went under. And all those magazines went under with them.


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
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Dear Helcio,

Those small magazines like Camera & Darkroom didn't have few ads from lack of trying! C & D was further hampered in its last incarnation because it was owned by Larry Flynt Publications, and many advertisers did not want to get within smelling distance of Larry Flynt (it was hard to blame them).

Advertising significantly dried-up for all publications in the early 1990's. Everyone was scrambling for ad money. The advertising manager at LFP made a poor decision, which was he started cutting deals with advertisers to get their ads in our pages at page rates that couldn't sustain the magazine. The fatally bad part was that he did not make it ironclad clear that this was a one-time “first one's free, little boy” deal, he just gave them whopping big discounts. So when advertising contracts came up for renewal, he got strong-armed into extending those deals. That shut down the magazine.

Mind you, if he hadn't cut those deals, the magazine might very well the folded even earlier.

Frankly, after Paul Sheptow sold it off, it lurched from one poor owner to the next. I was often amazed it lasted out another decade.

Any of you readers who have ever wondered to yourselves, “Hey, why doesn't Mike (or Mike and Ctein) go off and start a good photography magazine and show them how it's really done?” Now you know. We've seen how it's done, and the correct and sane response is to run away screaming.


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

Three points where all roads lead to Rome...

1. - As I type this on my tablet, I can state with certainty that many of my favorite print magazines in the Photography realm, have jumped to an electronic format. No more leeches browsing for free with a downloaded copy.

2. - Depending on the time of the month that the distributor restocks the shop, you may find your favorite magazines sold out. Again, no such issue with the downloaded format. Current and back issues are a click a way, not 6-8 weeks like their printed counterparts.

3. - Many brick & mortar retailers are forced to stock all the publications from one publishing house. You can't just carry Popular Photography, you have to display the entire Hachette Fillipachi lineup. The cable and satellite entertainment providers have been waging this same battle with various networks who insist on bundling their less popular channels with their marquee ones. Viacom just finished a very public fight with DirecTV about distribution rates, and AMC is in the middle of one with the same provider.

Once again, a direct download from the publisher, whether it be a magazine, music, or a TV show, makes the middle-man and their bulk distribution discount, completely unnecessary, much to the chagrin of the formerly powerful content providers, who are desperately suing their way into non-existence.

Aaah, I didn't know Gordon & Gotch was a world-wide company. And that their reputation is as bad in Canada as it is here. I can't understand how they get away with their practices. The newsagents I speak to have no alternative source and are too scared to make a fuss.

The practice here is that they must pay up front for the stocks they display. They have a 3 month shelf display life and if not sold, are returned to G&G for credit, but it takes G&G another 3 months to return the money! Need I say more?

How do they get away with it? They are a monopoly, that's how. No-one else can get started and no-one will, now. Electronic distribution MUST be the answer.

If I want a photography magazine (and sometimes I do), it is a 45 minute drive Books-a-Million.

I completely agree with your observations and conclusions. They apply even in a small country like Romania.

Print is expensive and a photo magazine is even more, if you ask me.

Firstly, they don't sell in high numbers anymore (because of the economy, because of the internet etc).
You can't really cut expenses in printing. A photography magazine must be printed in the best paper and have the best look, all areas where a magazines only with editorial (or mainly about the editorial content) might make cheaper choices.
Lastly , but more importantly, what happens with the advertisers? If the circulation of the magazine is so low, why should they bother? They have targeted audiences due to all the social networks, and they have large audiences at their disposal on other channels.

It is sad really. I love looking at the printed result. I keep the old photo magazines that I have safely on my library.

It's quite simple really; if you don't buy them, they won't print them.

Ctein
I’m shocked!
Thank you for clarifying what I would never know otherwise!

I subscribed to a bunch a few years ago, now I am down to the free Rangefinder paper sub and I am ready to dump that. I just don't want the paper around any more.

In order to get titles in any quantity, you have to go to he local B&N. At my independent bookstore here the titles seem to be dropping off one by one. Only the "artsy" ones remain.

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