Weekly Autosport to cease publishing?

Weekly Autosport to cease publishing?

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Discussion

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
Derek Smith said:
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.
That's probably the best way to handle the issue of age - and, sounds like you gained a ladies attention so well done!

I think F1 captivates a lot of healthy minded and technically able people. As a sport, it doesn't really make very much sense - what sort of sport changes its rules and tools of play every year!? But for those of us addicted, it's the perfect sport. As such, it's not a surprise that you're both old enough to accidentally throw a magazine at a lady, but also sharp enough to not need the patronising contents of that magazine in the first place, and smooth enough to ensure you left the shop arm in arm laughing wink

ettore

2,592 posts

198 months

Monday 7th October
quotequote all
I’m not sure I buy the death of print media. Book publishing has successfully renewed itself because a physical book is a lovely thing, either as a matter of record or an introspective pursuit. Books are increasingly beautiful and of higher quality.

The same is increasingly true of magazine publishing - higher quality, long form writing, properly produced with great images. There are plenty of magazines in good health and - as mentioned - an increasing number of specialist titles (possibly driven by the lower cost of entry and distribution).

Autosport is a victim of three things in my view:

Firstly, it is predominantly a news title which is fundamentally better suited to an online platform, especially when the news really occurs at the weekend.

Secondly - and sadly - modern motorsport is much less popular. Dreary one make series, inoculated sound and a limited technical interest make it increasingly niche.

Thirdly, it has become a very poor product. Lack of substance, tawdry design and an increasingly limited, tabloid focus have reduced its authority and interest.

It’s really a shame. Autosport was a Thursday must for me, even as a poverty stricken student. I even worked there for a while because I loved it so much.

Haven’t bought a copy in years!


2fast748

558 posts

141 months

Tuesday 8th October
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Autosport's twitter account has announced the magazine is continuing in print but will cost £10.99(!)

Where's that not sure if serious meme..................

Derek Smith

34,326 posts

194 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
ettore said:
I’m not sure I buy the death of print media. Book publishing has successfully renewed itself because a physical book is a lovely thing, either as a matter of record or an introspective pursuit. Books are increasingly beautiful and of higher quality.

The same is increasingly true of magazine publishing - higher quality, long form writing, properly produced with great images. There are plenty of magazines in good health and - as mentioned - an increasing number of specialist titles (possibly driven by the lower cost of entry and distribution).

Autosport is a victim of three things in my view:

Firstly, it is predominantly a news title which is fundamentally better suited to an online platform, especially when the news really occurs at the weekend.

Secondly - and sadly - modern motorsport is much less popular. Dreary one make series, inoculated sound and a limited technical interest make it increasingly niche.

Thirdly, it has become a very poor product. Lack of substance, tawdry design and an increasingly limited, tabloid focus have reduced its authority and interest.

It’s really a shame. Autosport was a Thursday must for me, even as a poverty stricken student. I even worked there for a while because I loved it so much.

Haven’t bought a copy in years!
I'm with you to a great extent.

I don't think it's the end of magazines, but there seems to be a significant change happening. Monthly or quarterly high quality magazines, with lots of editorial and features, seems to be the trend. For a weekly news mag, by the time it arrives, most people have read thousands of words on it, and there's little left to say.

It F1 reporting is still up at the top, but it is a crowded field with the internet. As for quality, there's a great deal of pressure in getting a weekly out, especially when the feature articles are based on what happened on Sunday.

I follow Daily Sports Car but when Le Mans comes around, I buy magazines. I didn't this year as so much more was available online.

I think for F1 there could be a start of the season magazine, another mid-term break, and another for a roundup. I'd pay £35 for those three and have, I suppose.

Motor Sport reformatted itself and came out fighting after a few lean years.

I buy motor sport books. The good thing about them is that you can reread them a year and years later. Seeing a post on PH, I can pull Henry's Turbo Years off the shelf, and start a post with the passive aggressive, 'I think you will find that . . .' Can't do that so easily with magazine you've thrown away.

Everything changes I suppose, and if publishers of magazines don't change, and try for different markets, they'll fold.

I like history and there was a history book in magazine format on the British Civil Wars. Worth £11.99 of anyone's money. Whether it makes economic sense for the publishers will be revealed in time.


The Moose

18,693 posts

155 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
For those that have declined, I think it's fair to say the internet is more often than not the cause.
Do you think that's the cause or an easy cop-out?

TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
The Moose said:
TheDeuce said:
For those that have declined, I think it's fair to say the internet is more often than not the cause.
Do you think that's the cause or an easy cop-out?
Internet + smartphones have to be in most cases the primary cause. The internet because it does what magazines were invented to do, but far better. Before the net, the only source of up to date topical information on a subject was magazines. Want to see a review of the latest movies/cd players/computer hard drives or whatever, we had to wait for and buy a magazine. Now, we can look at a product in a shop and within moments be holding a detailed review (video review even) in our hands. I can't think of anything a magazine can offer that can't be provided in more detail and greater breadth online somehow.

Initially, magazines did still make a lot of sense as, unlike the internet, they were portable. You could have one with you and browse it whenever you were bored, you could read it in bed, on the bog, on the beach. Internet couldn't do that as it wasn't portable - until smartphones came along.

Bauer Media are huge, they have bought up endless failed traditional publishing companies - do they think that readers are ditching mags in favour of digital content? Yes, they definitely do which is why 70% of their content has now transitioned to be digital, not printed.

Long story short: Before portable internet devices, magazines did a job nothing else could. Losing that advantage has to be the biggest factor in declining sales.

The Moose

18,693 posts

155 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
TheDeuce said:
The Moose said:
TheDeuce said:
For those that have declined, I think it's fair to say the internet is more often than not the cause.
Do you think that's the cause or an easy cop-out?
Internet + smartphones have to be in most cases the primary cause. The internet because it does what magazines were invented to do, but far better. Before the net, the only source of up to date topical information on a subject was magazines. Want to see a review of the latest movies/cd players/computer hard drives or whatever, we had to wait for and buy a magazine. Now, we can look at a product in a shop and within moments be holding a detailed review (video review even) in our hands. I can't think of anything a magazine can offer that can't be provided in more detail and greater breadth online somehow.

Initially, magazines did still make a lot of sense as, unlike the internet, they were portable. You could have one with you and browse it whenever you were bored, you could read it in bed, on the bog, on the beach. Internet couldn't do that as it wasn't portable - until smartphones came along.

Bauer Media are huge, they have bought up endless failed traditional publishing companies - do they think that readers are ditching mags in favour of digital content? Yes, they definitely do which is why 70% of their content has now transitioned to be digital, not printed.

Long story short: Before portable internet devices, magazines did a job nothing else could. Losing that advantage has to be the biggest factor in declining sales.
I know Bauer quite well and you hit the nail on the head about what my point was!

They have seen what's coming and transitioned. And done a good job of it. Other publishers appear to have stuck their head in the sand and hoped it'll all work out. There are of course others that fit somewhere between these 2. Don't get me wrong, I think the days of physical mainstream magazines are likely numbered, but that doesn't mean the publication needs to be.

Eric Mc

107,675 posts

211 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
Magazines for news have probably had it.

Magazines for specialist interests possibly still have some life left in them.


TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
The Moose said:
I know Bauer quite well and you hit the nail on the head about what my point was!

They have seen what's coming and transitioned. And done a good job of it. Other publishers appear to have stuck their head in the sand and hoped it'll all work out. There are of course others that fit somewhere between these 2. Don't get me wrong, I think the days of physical mainstream magazines are likely numbered, but that doesn't mean the publication needs to be.
I agree - and that is exactly what Bauer are doing - maintaining the content and tone of the publications, but getting them into the digital market-place. Makes complete sense!

I guess the failed publishers tried to downscale to survive, which was actually more of a pro-longed death in many cases. They lost the economies of scale as they down-sized, which led to the consumer prices of their magazines going through the roof. Very few people are going to carry on paying £7-8 for a magazine that's also growing thinner, and has in some cases had the print and paper quality reduced too.

There does seem to be a resurgence of local magazines though - I guess as they're free (full of ads for local businesses of course), and it's often a nice surprise when one of ours comes through the letter-box. I think local mags are still relevant as they inform you of things in your area that you didn't know about so wouldn't have gone online to find out about.


Eric Mc

107,675 posts

211 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
On-line works differently to mass media. You find things out by accident with mass media. You look for specific stuff when using the Internet.

DS240

2,996 posts

164 months

Tuesday 8th October
quotequote all
I gave up on Autosport a long time ago and that includes online as they made it incredibly annoying to use the site. The news in the magazine was pretty old by the time the it came out also. Different in the non and early internet days when it was virtually your only source of info.

I ended up finding the magazine pretty poor. For something so specialized I found it lacking in content and all the national level stuff uninteresting.

I don’t know why it didn’t branch off into feature pieces about the background of Motorsport and features on old race cars.

Le Mans time you’d get the same format of supplement each year and really it was of little use in practical terms of actually previewing the race. Why didn’t the whole magazine become a Le Mans special, make a huge feature of it on top of other Motorsport news.

F1 car launches would be short pieces lacking even decent detailed photos. Grand Prix could have been much bigger features and give background or useful guides on attending each one, like an insiders guide.

hammo19

2,033 posts

142 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
Not everyone wants to live a 4x2 existence and some of us still enjoy looking at the world around us.

It is inevitable that magazines will disappear from the shelves, it’s all to do with profitability.

davidd

5,978 posts

230 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
On-line works differently to mass media. You find things out by accident with mass media. You look for specific stuff when using the Internet.
I find that I go to look at something online and invariably find something of interest, it's how most sites work

StevieBee

7,998 posts

201 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
Eric Mc said:
Magazines for news have probably had it.

Magazines for specialist interests possibly still have some life left in them.
Yep. Quite right!

I have pretty much every copy of Grand Prix International Magazine; all neatly bound. Flicking through them is more like looking through a reference book.

I still have a box of Autosport Mags but have binned - I would reckon - 90% of those I ever purchased only keeping those of any note, like this one:


TheDeuce

3,135 posts

12 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
hammo19 said:
Not everyone wants to live a 4x2 existence and some of us still enjoy looking at the world around us.

It is inevitable that magazines will disappear from the shelves, it’s all to do with profitability.
Everybody? Literally nobody on this thread has said they want to live any such existence...


Megaflow

6,776 posts

171 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
It wouldn’t really be a surprise if it did die from print. I used to subscribe, and it was a good read. But I started to notice that it wasn’t taking as long to read as it used to, I read an entire issue in the bath once. So, I counted the pages of actual content vs pages of adverts and other filling material. It was 50% vs other stuff, this was just as they had put the price up as well, and it was nowhere near as think as it used to be. So I cancelled.

Eric Mc

107,675 posts

211 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
davidd said:
I find that I go to look at something online and invariably find something of interest, it's how most sites work
Depends on how niche your search is.

The Internet is a drilling down type process. General media is much wider.

coppice

5,522 posts

90 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
It is telling that this thread is in the F1 sub-forum because , since the late 90s , perhaps earlier , Autosport had devalued itself to become an F1 fanzine. It wasn't always like that, and when I started buying it in the early 70s it covered national racing, national rallying and even drag racing as well as sports cars and F1 . F1 typically took up 20-40% according to season.

But now that many people equate F1 and all motorsport as being one and the same , and that demographic is happy to haunt places like this and TV to the exclusion of the printed word, its demise is no surprise . It is sad , not only for those who work there , but for long time readers - having packed it up as a weekly order years ago I have found myself buying it again more often as the content had broadened to embrace wider subject matter again , not just modern F1 , but other disciplines and historical stuff too .

But it was never going to recapture the allure of Grand Prix reports written by the likes of Roebuck and the wonderful Pete Lyons , and some of the prose had become pretty dire .Nothing worse than Brits trying to write like Americans ....

Stan the Bat

4,987 posts

158 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
coppice said:
It is telling that this thread is in the F1 sub-forum because , since the late 90s , perhaps earlier , Autosport had devalued itself to become an F1 fanzine. It wasn't always like that, and when I started buying it in the early 70s it covered national racing, national rallying and even drag racing as well as sports cars and F1 . F1 typically took up 20-40% according to season.

But now that many people equate F1 and all motorsport as being one and the same , and that demographic is happy to haunt places like this and TV to the exclusion of the printed word, its demise is no surprise . It is sad , not only for those who work there , but for long time readers - having packed it up as a weekly order years ago I have found myself buying it again more often as the content had broadened to embrace wider subject matter again , not just modern F1 , but other disciplines and historical stuff too .

But it was never going to recapture the allure of Grand Prix reports written by the likes of Roebuck and the wonderful Pete Lyons , and some of the prose had become pretty dire .Nothing worse than Brits trying to write like Americans ....
Those Pete Lyons reports were fantastic.

Dynion Araf Uchaf

2,263 posts

169 months

Wednesday 9th October
quotequote all
I think there are a couple of reasons for Autosport's demise. Certainly on line media and the speed of news, but also the direction the magazine has taken from the mid 1990's. It became too F1 oriented ( when was the last time your saw an Autosport cover without an F1 car or driver on the front?) then ( and this winds me more than anything else). the article headlines all starting with words like, why? how!, when, what? etc eg, Why Hamilton's Mercedes can turn the season around! or What Ferrari have done to dominate Suzuka! or similar. Such st journalism, tabloid and for the simple minded.

My view is that Autosport could be resurrected if it became a more cerebral magazine, better more considered race/rally reviews, technical articles, opinions about the sport that the rules makers might not want to hear, a good club and national section, a decent rallying section all matched with decent photography.

Failing that, maybe it could become an online magazine like Motorsport Monday( which reminds me a lot of mid' 80's Autosport - but with some appalling proof reading), using it's name to attract advertising revenue and be able to be subscribed to for free.

imho.