Posts tagged “circulation”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • New Yorker profile of Fred Franzia, the rather unpleasant character behind Charles Shaw wine (akaTwo Buck Chuck) – "You tell me why someone's bottle is worth eight dollars and mine's worth two dollars," he says. "Do you get forty times the pleasure from it?" With Two Buck Chuck, Franzia invented a category known as “super-value” wine. Cheap wine – so-called skid-row wine – is noting new; Franzia's idea was to make cheap wine that yuppies would feel comfortable drinking. He put Charles Shaw in a seven-hundred-and-fifty millilitre glass bottle, with a real cork, and used varietal grapes.
  • Offline, accurate quantitative usage data can be tough to capture – Advertisers rely on M.R.I.’s research. It measures how many readers a magazine has, including people who did not buy it but read a friend’s copy or flipped through it at the doctor’s office. It also profiles the readers of all the magazines, including their income levels, attitudes and toothpaste-buying habits.

    M.R.I. divides the country into representative neighborhoods and sends researchers to the zones to conduct a 45-minute interview, with 26,000 people a year, asking them to remember which magazines they have read in the last six months.

    The researchers leave behind a 104-page survey about what sort of television shows people watch, what kind of products they use, and what social or behavioral traits describe them. M.R.I. then tries to adjust its results so they represent the country.

    [But there are accuracy issues] While M.R.I. said Tennis magazine’s readership dropped almost by a third, its subscriptions and newsstand sales rose slightly.

TV Guide Relaunching As Larger Magazine

In some ways, it’s amazing that TV Guide has hung on this long; I can’t remember the last time I used any sort of printed television guide, and I’ve never paid for one, going back to when they’d come free with the weekly paper (I guess they still do, but that goes right into the recycling in our house). The story is interesting, if not particularly shocking, because it marks a sharp transition point in a slow and inexorable change in technology and associated consumer behavior.

full story

TV Guide is slashing the circulation it guarantees advertisers by about two-thirds and relaunching itself as a large format magazine with far fewer TV listings and more emphasis on lifestyle and entertainment, the magazine announced Tuesday.

The radical changes to TV Guide come as it struggles to remain relevant in an age where many TV viewers get their listings from on-screen guides provided by their cable companies or online.

The new TV Guide, which will launch with the Oct. 17 issue, will contain just 25 percent listings and 75 percent stories, versus the 75 percent listings and 25 percent stories it has now, the company said early Tuesday.

Rich Battista, the CEO of TV Guide’s parent company, Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., said in an interview that the company’s research found that readers would be more interested in reading a magazine with fewer listings and more stories about TV shows and their stars.

Plus, we get the standard PR-speak where the company explains that their business decision was purely informed by research about consumer preference. These things write themselves!


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