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.)