Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Expensive habit; subscribing to prime U.S. titles on the other side of the world

We may grouse and complain about the costs of print subscriptions or single copies, but in Canada we should count our blessings for not being in Australia, where a subscription to The New Yorker can cost an astounding AU$681.50 a year and Sports Illustrated $563.55. The reason is that those magazines won't even bother selling a subscription directly to readers in the antipodes.
According to a post on the blog of magnation, a magazine retailer and subscription service company, if you subscribe through them air-freighted copies are delivered 14 days after the magazines are on the New York and U.S. newsstands (rather than 2 months if they come by boat -- the only way they can be received direct from the publishers).
"We’re not trying to rip anyone off;" says the post, "these prices are simply a reflection of our costs in order to sell you a subscription. We’d love to be able to sell a 12 month New Yorker subscription for $120 USD (the equivalent of around $2.40 an issue) but our wholesale costs as well as the price of postage mean that this simply isn’t possible.
(It's interesting that, in Australia, some 90% of magazine sales are sold at retail and by single copies; only about 10% are sold by subscription. And Australians spend more money, at last count, on magazines than Canadians do. Clearly, there is a core of people in Australia, however, who want a paper subscription copy of iconic U.S. magazines and are willing to pay $13 a copy to do so.)

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