California Autos Examiner

Monday, August 11, 2008

Auto Magazines Last Stand? U.S. Newsstand Sales Drop 6.3% in First Half of Year

I would like to make clear that no automotive titles were mentioned specifically in the WSJ article, however, it is all but a foregone conclusion that if the top magazines in the U.S. are seeing slow sales, then car mags are suffering a similar fate. Recently I opined about my reluctance to cough up $5 for a year's worth of Car & Driver. My argument against renewing was that I get all the auto content I need online and by the time C&D arrives, it's stale news. Reader's remarked that auto magazines still provide "consistency of coverage, depth of info, humor, and quality of writing" and the all important bathroom reading.

I still have to wonder if snail mail delivered auto magazines will be able to survive in the long run. AutoWeek pretty much gives away all of its articles for free on its website with very little delay between the print copy arriving in the mail slot and the content being posted online. Other print magazines are developing web properties with varying levels of success.

Because publishers must meet minimum circulation targets in order to maintain advertising rates, you can easily find deals like my $5 Car & Driver subscription offered online. For example if you click here you can get one year's free subscription to Motor Trend or Automobile Magazine by selecting the "coolest car for 2009" (the 911 won out for me).

source: Magazines' U.S. Newsstand Sales Drop 6.3% in First Half of Year -

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