17 June 2005
Stuff distributed at random
Last month, I was adding up all the bucks I spend on media of various sorts, and noted that my $62 figure for subscriptions to magazines "does not include Stuff, which has started appearing in my mailbox despite the fact that I don't remember ever ordering it."
I haven't been inclined to complain I mean, I wasn't at all ready for photos of a scantily-clad Danica "Winnie Cooper" McKellar but three issues have arrived, and I've been puzzling over "Why me?"
Well, it's not just me:
Stuff magazine started arriving each month no explanation given. If you don't know, Stuff is a lot like Maxim, only dumbed down. Yes, that's possible, although I'd have never believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.
Of course, Playboy, godfather to all the lad mags, has sacrificed a few IQ points in the past forty years. (Playboy Interview, April through June 1965: Art Buchwald, Jean-Paul Sartre, Melvin Belli. Playboy Interview, April through June 2005: Les Moonves, James Spader, Lance Armstrong.)
And the perfectly-logical reason for sending out unordered magazines:
Magazines base their ad rates on how many eyes they can promise to deliver. Issues on newsstands barely count there's no promise anyone will ever buy them. What counts is, how many people get each issue mailed to them. 100,000 paid subscribers are worth a lot more than 1,000,000 issues delivered to Barnes & Noble.
But it would now appear that even unpaid subscribers are considered too valuable to lose.
Considering how little the "official" price matters has anyone paid more than $12 for a year of Wired since Condé Nast acquired it? reducing it to zero probably doesn't matter very much at all.Posted at 7:49 PM to Almost Yogurt