I can’t speak for the rest of the world but in Australia we’re seeing IT Magazines slowly die off; over the recent years we’ve seen some of the most popular mags come down to just a few full time staff compared to an office full. For the last few years I worked for APC which is one of Australia’s Largest Tech Magazines.
Looking through the magazine you can see why it’s one of the most popular; even as someone who spends a huge amount of time on the internet I love reading APC because it keeps me up to date on things that I like but forget about; for example peripherals like Printers. I’m not about to spend a day on a printer review site but I can open up the APC and see some of the latest printers, based on their words I can then at least give someone a bit of a recommendation.
The other day though I received a list from an advertising company that ranked the Australian magazines (Based on circulation); to be honest the rankings didn’t surprise me. What did surprise though was a few years ago you would’ve had circulation numbers, instead these days you just have a rank. The reason for this is that circulation numbers have dropped, subscription numbers have dropped and honestly TweakTown delivers more content to more users in a span of days then every Tech Magazine in Australia does in a month at no cost to you, the same goes for other major tech sites.
Magazines find themself in a hard position, they’re in a position where they have a website but can’t push content on to it before the release or soon after the release of the issue as people wouldn’t buy it. Recently one company linked me to a review of a reference mid range video card review on a tech magazines website; it was a direct copy of the magazine review, just months afterwards. The problem was on the site it gave the impression it just came out although it was four months old and new models had been released around it.
Australian magazines will have to implement a system like the New York Times in where you’ll be able to subscribe to the magazines via your iPad and receive content that way. This is a very expensive process though and it’s safe to say that only a few magazines will be able to offer this. The question is will they offer it before it’s too late?
Resellers and Wholesalers need to understand that in Australia the magazine is a dieing breed for them; one manufacturer told me the other day they just advertise in these magazines because it’s not worth arguing with the wholesalers who sell their product that there’s no real value in it anymore.
TweakTown is launching a new review style soon for certain categories; I just finished the first review today that will fall under this new category. The idea is that TT will be offering Magazine style reviews on certain products. What that means is a single page with a word count up to about 1,000. In the Magazine world that would equate to 1 1/2 to 2 pages which is a number reserved for only big launches. Every word that is written in a review at TweakTown or a post here isn’t constrained to word counts for the simple reason that it doesn’t cost us to print a single page; yes it costs money to produce with wages and hosting but if TweakTown had to print what was done on the site in a monthly magazine it would be 100s of pages in length and $100s of dollars for you to buy.
What we’ll be able to do is offer companies more reviews, more in depth reviews and readers just more content in general. That’s good for you! It doesn’t matter what site you visit the idea is to make sure you’re happy.
At the moment I’m experimenting in the back end of sb.com to setup a magazine style review system; the idea isn’t to take on TweakTown or any other tech site. It’s to take on the magazines in Australia. I don’t want to be compared to other tech sites; my whole aim is to be compared to magazines specifically in Australia. The pricing will be Australian and the places you can purchase from will be in Australia.
What’s so fantastic though is that the words around a few names of wholesalers, resellers and prices are still relevant to everyone in the world. In much the way Australians read tech sites based in the US; US people can read a review based on a site from Australia.
This post is essentially a shout out to Manufactures, Wholesalers and Retailers. These companies are so blinded by the “Magazine” label that ShaneBaxtor.com isn’t a website, it’s a paperless Magazine. What we’ll be able to offer is something that paper magazines at the moment in Australia can’t!
1) Content delivered to you when an NDA is lifted.
2) More room then you’ve ever had in a paper magazine so people can really know your product.
3) The ability to link to wholesalers and retailers of items.
4) More reviews then you’ve ever had; I can fit more than one of your products in my paperless magazine each month.
5) The fastest turnaround times you’ve seen; we don’t need to send our reviews off to any printer, wait for them to be packaged up and shipped out to local news stores.
While at the same time saving the environment by not using paper.
Currently we’re completely iPhone compatible; if you go to this site on any iPhone, iPod Touch, Google Android Smartphone, Palm Pre and many other smart phones you’ll see the site in a easy to read format. Love or hate the iPad it’s setting the benchmark for the future of content delivery thanks to its large screen. Slate devices are going to be a big thing in the coming years and making sure we’re 100% compatible with those devices is going to be a priority. You should be able to read a review or news; anywhere, anytime on any device.
I’ll be making sure that I attack every layer in my own layered marketing plan. Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Retailers and End Users. I know what all four layers want and I intend to offer it.
The future of Australian Tech is here; and if you’re obsessed with the word “Magazine” then you’re visiting not a website but a Paperless “Magazine”; and why wouldn’t you want to do that, unless you hate the environment! Do you hate the environment?