Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kitplanes subscriptions

I love -- love -- Kitplanes Magazine. Stein Bruch's latest article on keeping wires tidy is a must read, especially for me. When I got home last night after a few hours of tidying up wires, there was Stein's article waiting for me with things I hadn't thought about.

But Kitplanes' -- Belvoir's, actually -- marketing has always been among the most questionable of the aviation magazines I subscribe to. It's generally BS in an industry -- advertising and marketing -- known for BS.

There's the guy who generally treats people poorly, who sits in the subscription booth at airshows and signed me up for a year's subscription. Then when I got home, I got four back issues and a subscription that expiree in 8 months. Terrible.

Now, take the e-mail I got this morning -- "special savings for AVWEB members!" (Click image to be able to read it)

Some special deal! It won't last long. It sounds almost exclusive, doesn't it?

Here are two of the million subscription cards that fell out of the issue that arrived yesterday:

It's the same deal. But is it "a deal" at all? Not much.

Here's the subscription card from last August's issue:

It's a savings, actually, of 50 cents an issue. Ten issues never cost subscribers $49.90. It cost subscribers $20.80, a deal that saves subscribers $4.90 a year. That's not much to get excited about. And even the company's masthead says the regular subscription price is $29.95 a year (which -- by the way -- is what you're charged when you go to to subscribe), not $49.90( which is the single-copy price).

"That's so low, it's like getting 6 issues free" the flyer says.

Not it's not. Not even close.

But the real question is why the subscription period is 10 issues now, and not 12? Is the company just using those numbers to make the subscripion seem significantly cheaper? Or is the company planning on reducing the number of issues it prints each year?

The fact the math is compared to a "year's" subscription cost (false as it is) means that it's cutting two issues, although the masthead still says Kitplanes is "published monthly," so perhaps not.

None of this, of course, is unique to magazine publishing. A few years ago, airlines stopped posting round-trip fares, posting one-way costs instead to make it look cheaper than it really was.

As with everything else, buyer beware.

1 comment:

  1. The guy at the airshows who treats people poorly - the reason I'm not a subscriber.