BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Mag Covers, Tracking, Journalists and More

By BoSacks on November 16, 2021
Re: Why do we still care about magazine covers?
Perhaps the reason that there is a discussion about what, exactly, a magazine is, is that we've decided that covers don't matter as much as they once did. As a result, we've lost our identity.
 
While maybe 50 years ago we wanted the the magazine's cover to stick out on the newsstand, it was back then, and is today, the actual way you identify the magazine to the public.
 
It's your, to use the modern term that all the kids use, brand. So why would you not care about it?
 
I have a few problems with this article. The first is that it appears that single copy sales have never been a factor in the circulation of New York Magazine. As far back as 2007, single copy sales for New York Magazine were only 5% of the overall circulation (Yes, I have actual receipts for this). As a point of fact, since 2007, overall circulation for the magazine has declined -39% and newsstand circulation (keep in mind, it was only 5%) declined 92%. That sounds astoundingly bad until you realize how small the numbers were as a part of the whole. That doesn't deny the collapse of the newsstand market, but you should show some context or understand what you're talking about before you make grand conclusive statements.
 
Does that mean that you don't care about the newsstand cover as much? Well, if you're New York Magazine and your latest audit report shows that newsstand was less than 1% of your overall sales, maybe you don't. If you're another magazine where your newsstand sales are a lot more than that, well, maybe you should. It would kind of depend on your circulation, wouldn't it?
 
Either way, the conclusion is that yes, you may no longer be designing a cover solely for newsstand sales (Although I would argue that most publishers haven't been doing that for a very, very long time), but you should be putting your best effort into a cover because it's how you identify your brand.
 
PS: I would kind of love it if non-magazine people would maybe try to learn something about the magazine business before they try to write about it.
(Submitted by Anonymous)
 
Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Attention, Shoppers: Audio Inventory In Groceries And Drugstores Is Now Addressable
The question is, when they switch on your location services, did they do it when you downloaded the coupon and did they make sure that you were aware that they were switching on your location services so they could track you on your "out of home inventory" purchasing "experiences"?
 
The cynic in me says, "Well of course not!"
 
On a personal note, the business speak in this article had me of two minds. On the one hand, I wanted to laugh at it's ridiculousness, on the other, it makes me want to shudder to think that is how modern American business now looks at the people they rely on to be both customers and workers.
(Submitted by Anonymous)
 
RE: Journalists Fear 'Fake News' Harms Their Profession - But Unsure How To Combat
Journalists, especially younger ones from what I’ve seen, are doing a lot more to harm their profession than “fake news.” Objectivity? It doesn’t exist in an absolute sense. But you can step out of your own views and try to understand different perspectives without the assumption that your own inclinations are, of course, right and should be dominant.
(Submitted by writer)
 
Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: Covid-19 Skeptics, Publisher Sue Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Back in TimeWarner Corporate Marketing days we used to operate as a “self-governing body”, and rags like The Enquirer and Star were known to be so over the top unbelievable that it was entertaining. Think The Onion satire, only low-brow, probably conspiracy theory bs. How did that become “news”!?
 
I think it all traces back to Ronnie eliminating truth in reporting standards and a pimple like Fox festered and spewed decades worth of lies and misinformation as to desensitize and fog good portions of this Country.
 
We need to hold the News to a higher standard NOW.
(Signed, a concerned citizen)
 
Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: The True Nature Of Magazines...
I agree with your points as much as I understand his points. I would add that bookazines may be more habit forming than Samir indicates. The Time ones on famous people or science always grab my attention and require will power to walk away. (I tend to habitually spend my discretionary dollars on books by my favorite Sci-Fi & Fantasy authors.)
( Submitted by a Sr. Business Analyst.)
 
Re: Direct-to-consumer brands are shifting to old-school marketing tactics
Hey Bob - Below has happened and happening and contributing to the paper shortage. Digital marketing has become more expensive as well, marketers have gone back to print in many cases.
 
Problem with that is getting paper or press time. We are in a place in the paper world that has never been seen. It is madness and even that is not an accurate description and getting worse. Q1 2022 will be catastrophic for many customers, worst yet.
(Submitted by a Paper Salesperson)
 
Re: Subscribed Institute, NYC: Key subscription growth takeaways
First of all, thank you for publishing your newsletter. I look forward to it everyday, and recommend it to anyone in the publishing or media industry that is not aware of it.
 
I am normally not one to comment on articles like this, and to be honest, I have been on the sales side of the equation working with and for some very talented Circulation Consultants and executives in the Publishing Industry.
 
When I ready this article regarding key subscription growth takeaways, I was life “looking at customer growth and the full lifecycle vs. short term acquisition and churn” is a new idea, I am pretty sure this idea was Circulation 101 30 years ago.
 
But heck, what do I know. I just thought it was funny that this Subscribed Institute was presenting this as new news
(Submitted by a Humble Sales Guy)
 
Re: Marketing to Gen Alpha
This made me snort! The oldest of these kids is *just* 11, and is unlikely to even have a social media account yet. My Gen Alpha baby is purely concerned with yelling at me because I've put her down for a nap, so no idea what these global marketing giants hope to gain by 'socially listening' to her (unless they want earache).
 
I think we can forget how quickly things change for these kids. I have no doubt by the time they're old enough to care, memes will be super lame and the world will have moved far past what any of these clever marketers can assert that they're interested in.
(Submitted by a Publisher)
 
Re: COMMENTARY Reflections On The Death Of Hershel Sarbin, Industry Icon, Boss And Mentor
What a man and what a loss. He was the most intellectually vital human. A brilliant creative leader and a compassionate person that nurtured young talent, created new media models and contributed to the world with energetic charitable endeavors. He was a giant in my life. He was my mentor. My sage . And my good friend. I would talk with him multiple times each year and he would have a new idea always. He lived life to the fullest with his brain his heart and body.  He change the world for the better each day  I will miss him terribly
(Submitted by a Publisher)
 
Re: FTC Commissioner Advocates ‘Data Minimization’ In Advertising
The phrase that stands out to me is, "nor do they have any bargaining power in the relationship" you either have the choice of saying yes I agree or you don't use the product. My printer for example asks me to agree to the terms of use with every upgrade. If I say no I wouldn't get the upgrade and would likely lose the functionality of being able to print from the printer I own.
(Submitted by a Sr. Business Analyst.)
 
Re: A Night at the Press
Thanks for posting this! It brought back fond memories when I was a VP at a major publisher and followed the distribution of one of our titles, Pro Football Weekly, an "evaluator" of Sunday's games, each issue provides insight to next week's games. We had a sales problem, we were very inefficient so I wanted to "follow the copies". My day began at the Editorial offices at 2 PM Sunday afternoon where the editorial team watched each game until the last game ending Midnight when edit closed and sent to the printer, a major Chicago daily newspaper. At 4 AM I watched printed copies come off press and ship to magazine wholesalers across the U.S. and Canada. The entire process worked EXCEPT for large wholesalers that were unable to get the magazines into the weekly billing and distribution tie lines. Like small wholesalers the larger agencies picked up or had copies delivered from the airport in the early morning but they were delivered to stores the next Tuesday making the copies useless.Sales were very soft, the "news" was old. Smaller, more flexible wholesalers picked up copies at their local airport and delivered copies the next day. Sales were strong, efficient and profitable. Watching an issue go from editorial to press to delivery was an exhilarating experience, and the failure of some systems was prescient of what was to become the new normal.
(Submitted by a newsstand Consultant) 
 

November 16, 2021
Categories:  Readers Speak Out

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