Delivery still matters

As use of the internet has grown and print advertising volume has declined, some weeklies have gone biweekly. Others have gone monthly. My subscription to Mediaweek suggests a new strategy: just deliver occasionally.

Reader neglect is the unfortunate byproduct of a struggling media model. Nielsen is said to be considering consolidating its three trade weeklies (Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek), a move that hardly surprises me. The company lost me last fall. Here’s why.

I have read Mediaweek in print for several years, and my current two-year subscription runs through March 2010. Although my chosen field is essentially magazines and books, I LIKE reading about other media (television, cable, radio and out-of-home, to name a few). It makes me smarter, gives me reasons to think and makes me look good at certain cocktail parties.

That would all be true today if Mediaweek actually came to me. Unfortunately, I have spent about as much time waiting for my copies as I have reading them. The problem became acute last fall, when my subscription just vanished. I called, I wrote, but here’s what I got:

  • Oct 13
  • Dec 1
  • Feb 2
  • Feb 16
  • Feb 23
  • Mar 2
  • Mar 9

You’d think after receiving four issues in a row, I’d be a lock to finish out through 2010. Alas, no. I’m back in print limbo. No issues have come since the beginning of March.

For those of you who write your own checks, Mediaweek costs $149 a year. Will I renew my subscription in March 2010? Hell, no. Is it because I’d rather get my news online? Not in the least. It’s because I’d rather pay for a product I actually get. Any magazine publisher should understand that.

Edited April 13 to add: After posting this piece, MediaWeek e-mailed me an offer to get “print plus digital” access for a single price. I pointed the magazine to this post, and I heard back from a circulation staffer who took steps to help. Last week (April 6), I got a copy by USPS and a copy hand-delivered in an envelope. It will be interesting to see what happens this week.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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