Re: [OM] OT: Photo Magazine Contents

Subject: Re: [OM] OT: Photo Magazine Contents
From: Chris Barker <cmib@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 15:15:05 +0200
>From: "Tomoko Yamamoto" <tomokoy@xxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: OT: Photo Magazine Contents
>Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 16:40:03 -0400
>Welcome to the Olympus list, Mike Johnston!
>I propose to have some discussions on the desirable contents and trends in
>magazines while we have you around on the list.

Good Plan.

It is topical at present in the UK because our monthly Photo Technique has
just stopped publication and "merged" with Amateur Photography, its weekly
sister magazine.  I got no warning of the impending closure of PT (UK), but
I can easily see how it came to be unviable - if indeed that was the
reasons for its closure.

Photography is market with many segments.  From P&S to serious wet film,
from compact digital to the professional digital.  Yet only a few of the
customers will buy magazines in support of their hobby or profession - in
my opinion.  Consequently, to stay in the business of photo mag
publication, publishers must earn their dosh from advertisers or charge
more for each edition.  Differentiating their publication and getting it
sold must cause publishers many a coronary since generating income by one
method will alienate a significant number of their market.  I have not read
a US mag for 10 years or so, but it always seemed to me that the ones that
I read had to broad a target audience and had not attempted to provide a
differentiation - but I lived in Florida where there were small newstands
and perhaps I did not see the serious mags.  BTW, I had no time for the
local newspapers for their plethora of flyers and dearth of news -
especially on Sundays!

In the UK we now have 2 or 3 really serious magazines for professionals,
artists and really serious amateurs (which I do not read so don't know the
names of), 2 or 3 for quite serious amateurs like me (although Popular
Photography is overwhelmingly modern consumer in slant) and a whole pile of
"What Camera?" -type stuff (ghastly!).  It seems to me that, although there
are many adverts, the balance in something like Amateur Photographer is
right.  There is news, technique and others' portfolios.  And at the back
is the best place to buy and sell your 2nd hand stuff.  I would subscribe
to a smaller circulation mag (such as has been mentioned once or twice on
the List over the last year), but I cannot justify membership of Olympus
Camera Club, a sub to AP and another mag as well... ;-(

The trick for any mag is to choose your segment and to develop a strategy
for that segment - don't be tempted to diversify unless you have identified
a clear need to move to a new segment(s).

And by the way Mike, whatever your personal motives for subscribing to this
list of earnest enthusiasts (and I bid you welcome as well), I have to
applaud you on your MR.  This must be a good way to research a niche in the
segment of MF photography, even if they will not buy many of the new
electronic bricks that you probably have advertised in your mag.  If only
OM would pay such close attention... ;-)

Hope that this makes sense...


Chris Barker <><        mailto:cmib@xxxxxxxxxxx
Box 2, Officers' Mess,
RAF Brueggen, BFPO25, UK.

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