Weekly Autosport to cease publishing?

Weekly Autosport to cease publishing?

Author
Discussion

yoshisdad

Original Poster:

318 posts

117 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
https://motorsportbroadcasting.com/2019/10/06/moto...

Saw this today and initially was disappointed. I used to buy it every week, but haven't now for a long time. I look through it sometimes, when I am in WHSmith.

Are we all reading on the internet?

TheDeuce

3,136 posts

12 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
yoshisdad said:
https://motorsportbroadcasting.com/2019/10/06/moto...

Saw this today and initially was disappointed. I used to buy it every week, but haven't now for a long time. I look through it sometimes, when I am in WHSmith.

Are we all reading on the internet?
The irony.

smile

Derek Smith

34,366 posts

194 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
I find that sad, but if people aren't buying it . . .

It was suggested some time ago, this around 2010, that periodicals would end 'soon', drying up in the same manner as the high streets. It hasn't happened yet of course, but there are signs, of which this is one.

If you check the shelves of WH Smith, you'll see a greater range of titles than ever before, but the range of subjects covered is contracting.

Autosport was very much a feature of my youth and even into middle age. Waiting for five days to read the inside story of a grand prix helped fill the space between races. Nowadays, the inside stories are there before the cars leave the circuit. Whilst F1 management, at least under Ecclestone, wasn't fully supportive of website coverage of F1, some of them were great. In particular, sites like Cygnet F1 were must reads.

Much as I like, soon to be liked, Autosport, for sports car racing, I followed dailysportscar.com. So much more informative and, eventually, free. It is all but instant as well.

Facebook has taken over from fanzine websites to a great extent.

The creators of Octane have started a new magazine this year, Magneto. It's quarterly and the differences between the two show the way magazines are going. They are more stand-alone; booklets rather than periodicals. The same goes for a number of other subjects. One sees magazines on a specific subject, like Spitfires, lathes, and Wordpress 2019. A specific subject covered in fair detail and lots and lots of images. Annual issues rather than monthly.

I have Readly. It's a sign of the struggle monthly magazines have. It's what has kept Autosport going they say.


Exige77

3,864 posts

137 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
I heard there are some financial issues at Motorsport network so I can imagine they are cutting back loss making elements to their business.

Drumroll

1,456 posts

66 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Hardly ever brought Autosport, as I am mainly interested in "club racing" so never thought it was worth it. Motoring News I used to get, but it too lost it's appeal, with poor reporting etc. So now get what I need online.

TheDeuce

3,136 posts

12 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
I find that sad, but if people aren't buying it . . .

It was suggested some time ago, this around 2010, that periodicals would end 'soon', drying up in the same manner as the high streets. It hasn't happened yet of course, but there are signs, of which this is one.

If you check the shelves of WH Smith, you'll see a greater range of titles than ever before, but the range of subjects covered is contracting.

Autosport was very much a feature of my youth and even into middle age. Waiting for five days to read the inside story of a grand prix helped fill the space between races. Nowadays, the inside stories are there before the cars leave the circuit. Whilst F1 management, at least under Ecclestone, wasn't fully supportive of website coverage of F1, some of them were great. In particular, sites like Cygnet F1 were must reads.

Much as I like, soon to be liked, Autosport, for sports car racing, I followed dailysportscar.com. So much more informative and, eventually, free. It is all but instant as well.

Facebook has taken over from fanzine websites to a great extent.

The creators of Octane have started a new magazine this year, Magneto. It's quarterly and the differences between the two show the way magazines are going. They are more stand-alone; booklets rather than periodicals. The same goes for a number of other subjects. One sees magazines on a specific subject, like Spitfires, lathes, and Wordpress 2019. A specific subject covered in fair detail and lots and lots of images. Annual issues rather than monthly.

I have Readly. It's a sign of the struggle monthly magazines have. It's what has kept Autosport going they say.
I uses to live near Emap (published hundreds of mags, Max Power was one of their hits) around 2001, which was when broadband really started to take off and social networking became a thing. Since that point the fall off in circulation came thick and fast. In the end Emap was bought by a former competitor, Bauer Media, who are now essentially surviving by buying up the smaller publishers as each one inevitably fails, and then concentrating on the still profitable titles that publisher maintained, and sacking off any of the others.

What is positive however is that unlike the failed publishers, Bauer are managing to transition themselves and their content to effective (profitable) digital content. Their readership is already at 70% digital, so at least we can be assured that the majority of publications that have survived this long, will probably continue to exist - albeit probably not as printed media for very much longer.

Is it sad to lose printed magazines though? Probably not - we all have (or can easily get) smartphones so we all have the entirety of human knowledge on just about any subject in the palms of our hands. There are occasions where printed media is still good, I was recently in WH Smith looking for a magazine to take on an up-coming flight, couldn't find one so I gave up. Then when I checked in to my flight on-line I noticed my flight had wifi, so the entertainment problem was solved. In fact the wifi was so excellent I was able to watch the Belgian GP on the flight out, and the Italian GP on the flight back, both live!! Progress... Generally rolls on in a direction that makes life better I think smile

Eric Mc

107,680 posts

211 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
I think the general interest in motor sport is declining rapidly (for all sorts of reasons) and Autosport has suffered as a result.

Interestingly, magazines covering some niche areas are booming - so you can't blame the internet for this.

TheDeuce

3,136 posts

12 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
I think the general interest in motor sport is declining rapidly (for all sorts of reasons) and Autosport has suffered as a result.

Interestingly, magazines covering some niche areas are booming - so you can't blame the internet for this.
I think it's more a case that the most popular mags in each segment survive the longest, and also inherit readership from each of their former competing publications as each one fails. In the end though, the majority of segments (overall) are seeing less physical readership each year. Not all, some do indeed remain very popular. Celeb gossip mags sadly seem in the ascendancy!!!

For those that have declined, I think it's fair to say the internet is more often than not the cause. Not that that's a bad thing, we're consuming more content than ever before so the number of jobs to create the content isn't diminishing.

I agree general motor sport interest is declining. I think a lot of confusion over green issues - that needless driving for fun is bad for the planet and shouldn't be supported are to blame for growing disinterest in motorsport from each new generation. Everything is against motorsport in modern millennial culture really. Pointless risk taking, dirty, fossil fuel blah blah blah, male dominated sport blah blah... F1 thankfully seems to be bucking that trend at least. For now..

StevieBee

7,999 posts

201 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
IIRC, Autosport was once the highest circulating specialist weekly magazine in the UK.

I have boxes of them in the loft and is interesting to flick through the older ones to see reports of now famous F1 drivers dicing for points in some lowly meet at Mallory and the like.

I used to subscribe but can't recall the last time a purchased a copy.

Exige77 said:
I heard there are some financial issues at Motorsport network so I can imagine they are cutting back loss making elements to their business.
I wouldn't be surprised. They've been on what appears to have been a very expensive shopping spree, hoovering up all manner of media and titles around the world to such an extent that they were close on having a monopoly on motor sport images, print and published media. It's difficult to see sufficient revenue being generated.

Eric Mc

107,680 posts

211 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
I don't think F1 is bucking any trend - especially here in the UK - which has always been Autosport's main market.

General interest in F1 has fallen off a cliff here. Nobody I know, apart from the die-hards here on PH, seem to know or care about F1. And the mates that I used to chat with about F1 have all drifted away from the sport. Autosport is a casualty of growing disinterest in motorsport in general and F1 in particular.

Conversely, an extremely geeky and nerdy hobby such as scale model building has never had so many magazines. I'm amazed they survive but they seem to be doing OK.

Astronomy now has at least five publications devoted to it (there used to be precisely none in the UK).

Derek Smith

34,366 posts

194 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
I uses to live near Emap (published hundreds of mags, Max Power was one of their hits) around 2001, which was when broadband really started to take off and social networking became a thing. Since that point the fall off in circulation came thick and fast. In the end Emap was bought by a former competitor, Bauer Media, who are now essentially surviving by buying up the smaller publishers as each one inevitably fails, and then concentrating on the still profitable titles that publisher maintained, and sacking off any of the others.

What is positive however is that unlike the failed publishers, Bauer are managing to transition themselves and their content to effective (profitable) digital content. Their readership is already at 70% digital, so at least we can be assured that the majority of publications that have survived this long, will probably continue to exist - albeit probably not as printed media for very much longer.

Is it sad to lose printed magazines though? Probably not - we all have (or can easily get) smartphones so we all have the entirety of human knowledge on just about any subject in the palms of our hands. There are occasions where printed media is still good, I was recently in WH Smith looking for a magazine to take on an up-coming flight, couldn't find one so I gave up. Then when I checked in to my flight on-line I noticed my flight had wifi, so the entertainment problem was solved. In fact the wifi was so excellent I was able to watch the Belgian GP on the flight out, and the Italian GP on the flight back, both live!! Progress... Generally rolls on in a direction that makes life better I think smile
Thanks for that.

I take your point about digital magazines/content. Two WH Smiths near me have taken up being post offices. The reduction of shelves is from magazine sales. People open the occasional magazine, skim a few articles, and then replace it on the shelves. Many seemed aimed at my age group - the terminally confused. There's histories of the wars, steam trains, old cars and such. If it doesn't contain nostalgia, it's not worth displaying it seems.

Some go against the trend. There's Land Rover Monthly, Land Rover Owner, LR magazine, Classic LR, and one or two I've missed. Then there's the 'specials'. It's a bewildering array.

I read around 50% of my books on tablet. If Kindle history books were cheaper, the percentage would increase, but the library is my main source for the more expensive volumes. I'm down to about two books a month, and that's only because I regularly meet a friend in Waterstones in Horsham and he's perpetually later than I am. I browse; ergo I buy.

The old order changes I suppose. I liked Autosport though. I'd devour the GP report, see mates at the rugby club on Saturday, and then point out, when someone has said something wrong, 'I think you'll find that [whatever]. I might be wrong, of course. Bit I doubt it.. Passive aggressive is fun, albeit not very rugby union.


TheDeuce

3,136 posts

12 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
Thanks for that.

I take your point about digital magazines/content. Two WH Smiths near me have taken up being post offices. The reduction of shelves is from magazine sales. People open the occasional magazine, skim a few articles, and then replace it on the shelves. Many seemed aimed at my age group - the terminally confused. There's histories of the wars, steam trains, old cars and such. If it doesn't contain nostalgia, it's not worth displaying it seems.

Some go against the trend. There's Land Rover Monthly, Land Rover Owner, LR magazine, Classic LR, and one or two I've missed. Then there's the 'specials'. It's a bewildering array.

I read around 50% of my books on tablet. If Kindle history books were cheaper, the percentage would increase, but the library is my main source for the more expensive volumes. I'm down to about two books a month, and that's only because I regularly meet a friend in Waterstones in Horsham and he's perpetually later than I am. I browse; ergo I buy.

The old order changes I suppose. I liked Autosport though. I'd devour the GP report, see mates at the rugby club on Saturday, and then point out, when someone has said something wrong, 'I think you'll find that [whatever]. I might be wrong, of course. Bit I doubt it.. Passive aggressive is fun, albeit not very rugby union.

I too love history, and something about a physical book is joyous, perhaps more than ever if it is a book on history. Also relaxing to read in bed. I can't extend the same joy to magazines though... I have bought thousands in my time, and the truth is, like most of us I suspect, in a mag with 40-50 pages of content, I headed straight to the 5-10 pages of content I actually cared about, and then the mag just becomes clutter around the house. Not to mention as readership started to demise, the prices went through the roof. The last copy of PC Format I ever paid for was nearly £7 I think, which was the double the insult it sounds as the magazine was half as thick as it used to be, yet contained double the adverts.

As of about 2 years ago, every magazine publication I have ever bought is now defunct anyway, so in the end my decision go fully digital was somewhat forced.. But in the end, I think I would have stopped buying them anyway. The last great reason to buy printed media was portability, and these days the smartphone replaces that.

Eric Mc

107,680 posts

211 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
How are we getting increasing numbers of scale model and astronomy magazines now - not to mention history and some other subjects? The trend is not downwards in every area.

I don't understand myself why some areas of interest seem to have had a magazine explosion over the pat few years and other areas are in decline.

It can't be all an Internet thing as that does not explain why some areas are showing magazine growth.

TheDeuce

3,136 posts

12 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
How are we getting increasing numbers of scale model and astronomy magazines now - not to mention history and some other subjects? The trend is not downwards in every area.

I don't understand myself why some areas of interest seem to have had a magazine explosion over the pat few years and other areas are in decline.

It can't be all an Internet thing as that does not explain why some areas are showing magazine growth.
I would imagine it's just the trends in certain interests for periods of time exceed the rate of general decline in printed magazines. There was an old stat: "How do you smoke 20 cigs a day and live 3 years longer? - walk a certain number of miles a day". The point being that one factor can offset and disguise another. The cigs still kill you, statistically at least, but the positive effect of regular exercise has a greater impact on life expectancy than the smoking.

Also... model making, astronomy and history? I would say such subjects would be the least impacted by advances in technology. Each one may find interest from a certain generation that is, as they (themselves) often say 'too old' for the new ways and finds a little refuge in a magazine perhaps? Not just the older generations either, increasingly I think modern life pushes folk of all ages to want to step back and do something wholesome and a little old fashioned sometimes. The wealth of information online is wonderful, but I struggle to fully absorb myself sometimes. Targeted advertising is a constant distraction for one. This site is currently switching between notices telling me to prepare my company for Brexit, and also to consider exporting more (also Brexit..) and every now and again for some reason I'm seeing a lot of Victoria Secret adverts. That last one is perhaps the most distracting smile

NZDave

62 posts

196 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Many years ago I used to get Autosport by airmail. It was the only way I could keep up with what was going on in F1 & European Sports Car Racing. was quite expensive though. However it was more like a newspaper and was out of date by the next week so only of interest to fans which must have limited its sales. Haven't seen one for years. I also used to get Motorsport but would wait until that arrived in the shops as it didn't date anywhere near as quickly.
Dave

Derek Smith

34,366 posts

194 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
Eric Mc said:
How are we getting increasing numbers of scale model and astronomy magazines now - not to mention history and some other subjects? The trend is not downwards in every area.

I don't understand myself why some areas of interest seem to have had a magazine explosion over the pat few years and other areas are in decline.

It can't be all an Internet thing as that does not explain why some areas are showing magazine growth.
I would imagine it's just the trends in certain interests for periods of time exceed the rate of general decline in printed magazines. There was an old stat: "How do you smoke 20 cigs a day and live 3 years longer? - walk a certain number of miles a day". The point being that one factor can offset and disguise another. The cigs still kill you, statistically at least, but the positive effect of regular exercise has a greater impact on life expectancy than the smoking.

Also... model making, astronomy and history? I would say such subjects would be the least impacted by advances in technology. Each one may find interest from a certain generation that is, as they (themselves) often say 'too old' for the new ways and finds a little refuge in a magazine perhaps? Not just the older generations either, increasingly I think modern life pushes folk of all ages to want to step back and do something wholesome and a little old fashioned sometimes. The wealth of information online is wonderful, but I struggle to fully absorb myself sometimes. Targeted advertising is a constant distraction for one. This site is currently switching between notices telling me to prepare my company for Brexit, and also to consider exporting more (also Brexit..) and every now and again for some reason I'm seeing a lot of Victoria Secret adverts. That last one is perhaps the most distracting smile
I was in WH Smith in Brighton and saw a magazine entitled 'Windows for those past it' or something similar. I picked it up in order to be disgusted by the patronising tone of the contents and I succeeded. I more or less threw it back onto the shelves, but advancing age means my coordination was shot and the magazine fell to the floor. It was picked up by a smartly dressed woman of similar age to myself.

I apologised, as would anyone my age for obliging someone of the same age to do some act of assistance, and said I was a bit miffed because I designed and ran three websites, built my own computers, and was the person my kids turned to for help on such matters. She, I discovered, ran her own webdesign and content company, and still coded. She said she was was aghast at the low level of digital knowledge of people coming to her company for jobs.

We walked out of the shop together, moaning about kids today just like a couple of old uns who were past it.


DelicaL400

279 posts

57 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
I used to buy Motorsport News regularly. However, the rallying section (my main interest) became little more than regurgitated press releases from the same few BRC crews which, if I really wanted to, I could see on social media.

I still occasionally look at it on Readly but it's a quick glance where it used to be a long read.

They failed to move with the times I think so it's no surprise that the print editions look like they're ending.

In contrast, although on a much smaller scale, UK Rally Scene magazine seems to be doing quite well so perhaps there is still a demand for actual stories in print rather than BRC press releases.

StevieBee

7,999 posts

201 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
I don't understand myself why some areas of interest seem to have had a magazine explosion over the pat few years and other areas are in decline.
Without wishing to lower tones, I am regularly surprised that many of the more 'adult orientated' titles prevail on the upper shelves.

Eric Mc

107,680 posts

211 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
StevieBee said:
Eric Mc said:
I don't understand myself why some areas of interest seem to have had a magazine explosion over the pat few years and other areas are in decline.
Without wishing to lower tones, I am regularly surprised that many of the more 'adult orientated' titles prevail on the upper shelves.
I hadn't noticed - but that's because I can't see that high.

Eric Mc

107,680 posts

211 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
I would imagine it's just the trends in certain interests for periods of time exceed the rate of general decline in printed magazines. There was an old stat: "How do you smoke 20 cigs a day and live 3 years longer? - walk a certain number of miles a day". The point being that one factor can offset and disguise another. The cigs still kill you, statistically at least, but the positive effect of regular exercise has a greater impact on life expectancy than the smoking.

Also... model making, astronomy and history? I would say such subjects would be the least impacted by advances in technology. Each one may find interest from a certain generation that is, as they (themselves) often say 'too old' for the new ways and finds a little refuge in a magazine perhaps? Not just the older generations either, increasingly I think modern life pushes folk of all ages to want to step back and do something wholesome and a little old fashioned sometimes. The wealth of information online is wonderful, but I struggle to fully absorb myself sometimes. Targeted advertising is a constant distraction for one. This site is currently switching between notices telling me to prepare my company for Brexit, and also to consider exporting more (also Brexit..) and every now and again for some reason I'm seeing a lot of Victoria Secret adverts. That last one is perhaps the most distracting smile
I would say that the internet has actually helped ALL these interests and possibly FUELED a desire for more magazines. Certainly, my return to model building was part fueled by the ability to visit model forums etc. And at around the same time, new model magazine titles started to appear. The internet turned what was usually an isolating hobby into a community hobby.

The internet works in many different ways. As regards model building and astronomy, it has most likely increased interest in the hobby. As far as motor racing is concerned, the factors affecting it are greater than just the internet.