I’ve worked in media long enough to know that a business’ best customers are often the easiest to extract money from, but in a time when tracking ROI is so simple I would think that customers who are easily retained should get the best deals. Because, quite literally, they cost less.
Unfortunately, that idea has yet to trickle down to the magazine industry.
Example: I’ve subscribed to The New Yorker for nearly 20 years. And last week I got an “urgent notice” from them that my subscription was about to expire and that they had a special deal for me. It was 47 issues for $59.95, Nice. That’s a big chunk off the newsstand price and it sounded like a reasonable amount to pay for access to some of the best writing in the world. As I began writing the check I noticed the most recent issue of the magazine on the floor. A blow-in card sticking out from the magazine had a deal for $12 less: 47 issues for $47. That’s $12 less for the same subscription and yet they were trying to get $59.95 from me because I’m a good customer and therefore much more easily taken advantage of.
So what did I do? I tore up the check and wrote a new one to New York Magazine instead.