Is Stereophile seeking a new reader demographic?


Does anyone else find this as odd, or amusing, as I do? I just received a subscription solicitation for Stereophile magazine offering me a "free MP3 auto adapter" if I subscribe for a year. The promotion includes a picture of a cheap 12-volt adapter intended to provide power to an MP3 player.

Two thoughts came immediately to my mind -- first, if I can afford any of the equipment being promoted (and "promoted" is, in my view, a polite description) in Stereophile, why would a $10.00 adapter be an incentive to subscribe? And second, Stereophile manages, in each and every issue, to say something nasty about compressed audio files. Why would they be pushing an MP3 adapter as a subscription premium?

Methinks the marketing and editorial departments ought to be talking to each other a bit more.
rdavwhitaker
Stereophile should be concerned about keeping their current demographic.
They should also back off politcal rants IMO, far too many times they take jabs about things that have nothing to do with music and that surely does cause some to take pause if not cancel membership alltogether.
Normally I wouldn’t step into a conversation like this in order to avoid an argument, but since I perhaps have a bit of a different perspective on the issue because I am involved in the audio industry, I thought I might share a couple of thoughts and some facts.

First, Rdavwhitaker, the renewal notice that I received that included the power adapter offer said that the price was $71.91 OFF the newsstand price. The subscription price for one year was $11.97. Could you have read the notice wrong?

To answer Cyclonicman’s assertion: the traditional demographic that the print audio magazines has served, which includes me, is dying off at an increasingly rapid rate each year. Much of our demographic will be dead and gone over the next decade. If Source Interlink Media can come up with a way to keep their current demographic, then I’m all for it. They could probably make a lot more money keeping us alive than they can selling magazines.

In other words, Stereophile and the rest of the audio publications need to find new readers in order to survive. The next generation of high-end hobbyists will be different than we are, just as we were different than the “founding generation” that preceded us.

To bring a little clarity to who the high-end audio buyer is, I can say that in my business an ever-increasing majority of buyers are in the 25 to 35 age group. And these people are buying good, if not the very best, record players, phono cartridges, and other products. Their enthusiasm and energy are refreshing. I don’t see how that’s much different than I remember things being forty years ago, in terms of price range and what percentage of the market that they constitute. They are more active in the high-end audio equipment marketplace than, for instance, the over 60 segment, based on what we are seeing in our business.

Based on what they tell me, a lot of these people also carry around iPhones and that sort of thing with music on them. The Stereophile gift item may be something that they would appreciate. And at least some of them are reaching a point in life where better audio gear is of interest and they also have an interest in taking the time to read magazines.

Stereophile probably missed the mark by sending the gift offer to me as well, but I don’t think they know my age or what my interests are. I expect that they sent that particular renewal notice to a large group of subscribers, some of whom would appreciate the gift. At any rate, I’m not sure that we should expect our personal tastes should always be perfectly met by a magazine at the expense of someone else’s personal tastes. Hopefully, regardless of age and tastes, we can all get something of value from the audio magazines.

If not, then it may be more appropriate for Stereophile to include free sample coupons with the Viagra ads in the magazine. That may be more appropriate for this existing demographic of ours than the power adapter is.

Happy listening.

Jim Pendleton
Osage Audio Products, LLC
How COULD the subscription price offered be $74.00??? The normal subscription price via the web or the inserted cards is like $13. Something is wrong here. Please clarify. Thanks.
isn't the subscription price for Stereophile more like $11/year?