And Can It Be Staved Off?
Preface: Let me start by saying this, I don’t know what the heck I am talking about. I’m not a journalist, an editor, an economist or a business major. I’m just a dumb street cop who writes for a gun blog, and has been lucky enough to have a few pieces published in a print magazine that I have long subscribed to.
However, I do have some expertise at being a consumer of gun magazines. I have subscribed to various gun magazines for nearly 30 years. Some subcriptions have come and gone, but a few I have maintained consistently for more than a decade.
So, what got me thinking about this? I’ve had a renewal for one of those long term subscriptions sitting on my desk staring at me for a couple months now, and I just got the second notice in the mail.
Why has it been there so long? Well because over the years, that magazine has gotten shorter, been printed on thinner paper, cheaper binding, and more importantly, continues to have fewer issues per year all the while the price has steadily increased. As much as I like the magazine, it has gotten to the point that I am wondering if it is even worth renewing anymore.
I know I can’t be the only person feeling that way.
And on the flip side, look at the overwhelming plethora of gun blogs, YouTube channels, and some of the newly emerging all-in-one gun websites like Full30.com. Those “new media” outlets offer the consumer, no matter how voracious their appetite is for information, an unending supply of information. Some of it is good, some is mediocre, and some is worthless, but that is okay because the price is right.
Some of the magazine publishers have obviously realized this because most of them have started up their own websites. The problem is, while they know what they are doing in print, their efforts at providing engaging online infotainment is a decade behind most of the better known gun related websites.
I will be the first to say there is a definite alure to holding those glossy pages with excellent full-color photos of the latest pieces of unobtanium. I will freely admit I do not want to see the print gun magazine go the way of the dodo, but I’m also a cheapskate, and the ever shrinking return on my investment in those magazines is actually driving me away.
As I said at the begining of this article, I don’t know what I am talking about, but if I could make one single suggestion to the gun magazine publishers out there, it would be to stop trying to reinvent the online wheel. You just don’t have the knack. Instead, consider teaming up with some of those sources that do have that ability as a business partner. Not only would it be mutually beneficial, but it actually might prevent your extinction.