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Charging for Diary enties in BRM





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#1 David Bigcheeseplant

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 14:28

I notice that unless you pay for inclusion exhibition diary dates will no longer appear in BRM, it has always been the case for all other magazines and BRM until the last issue that events would be listed free of charge.

 

I always felt it useful to have a look and see if there was anything I might want to visit either local to me or in an area I was visiting when on holiday. Other than the Railway Modeller that seems to print every thing sent to them, a venue address,  contact details and website was all that needed in these lists, but it seems now unless you pay £30, you exhibition is invisible to those who buy the magazine, I tend to only buy magazines if there is something that interests me which I guess is the same as most readers, so if BRM is the only mag I buy that month then I may miss out on something I might want to visit, many shows don't post on RMWeb, and I guess if smaller show are not willing to pay then they may lose visitors.

 

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#2 Persephone

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Posted 05 January 2018 - 22:24

Our club members are to put it mildly somewhat bemused by this. OK we might miss one or two visitors as a result of it, and its certainly not worth us paying £30 plus VAT for it. On the other hand its going to cost BRM some sales as members cease to buy the magazine as a result. A classic case of shooting yourself in the foot by BRM.


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#3 grahame

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 09:29

Possibly a bigger issue would be if all the other commercial magazines follow suit and also start charging for 'diary' entries. Then for a MRC to get a little exposure in the monthlies it will cost them a significant amount for a mention in all publications.

G
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#4 Jonboy

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 12:03

It’s an interesting strategy, how many of their regular advertisers rely on these shows for their income as traders?
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#5 RANGERS

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 13:44

As the proprietors of shows which compete with club exhibitions, I can understand the stance but it does open up BRM to further criticism that they are failing to support the hobby, the club structure in particular. Personally one of the things I buy the RM for is the exhibition diary, none of the other mags have ever been as good at it this as RM are so maybe BRM are just throwing the towel in on this as a regular feature and devoting the space to advertising.


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#6 Pteremy

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 16:47

How does the 'Exhibition and Event' calendar on RMweb compare? If that is comprehensive then maybe the print versions are time served anyway.



#7 Ryde-on-time

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 16:50

I thought the diary was trimed down in the BRM mag months ago and discussed here then. I seem to recal that they wanted the mag to contain useful and unique info rather than pages of exhibition info which is repeated in other mags and on numerous websites such as this one

#8 RANGERS

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 17:00

How does the 'Exhibition and Event' calendar on RMweb compare? If that is comprehensive then maybe the print versions are time served anyway.

 

I don't find RMWeb, or any of the other on-line sources for that matter, as comprehensive as the RM (Railway Modeller) diary which covers a huge range of events, not just exhibitions. As events in any industry are essentially news, most media can never get enough of them, it fills column inches for free. Would BRM carry a news story about a particular show if the show hadn't coughed up the £30 for a diary entry?

 

I find the decision to follow this line puzzling, the revenue it'll generate can only be minimal and it will only reduce the content in the magazine.


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#9 Robin Brasher

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Posted 06 January 2018 - 19:17

I have always found the Railway Modeller very helpful in listing model railway exhibitions and club entries that I have been involved in. When I started the Swanage Model Railway Club I visited Pecorama and met a lady who kept some card index cards in a filing cabinet. After I had filled in the details of my club she checked to see if there were any other model railway clubs in my area and then accepted my entry. Every year she wrote to me to check that my details were still the same and asked if I was organising any exhibitions.

If any other magazine is charging for these entries I think they will loose out they will not get so many entries and people will turn to the Railway Modeller for details of clubs and exhibitions
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#10 The Stationmaster

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Posted 07 January 2018 - 11:22

The BRM team seem to be pretty good at communicating with us, their customers, so no doubt they will be well aware of this thread but whether or not they decide to comment on what is clearly a commercial decision is entirely up to them and I happily respect their decision not to say anything if that is what they decide to do.

 

Overall it strikes me as a logical decision for several reasons.  Firstly I think everybody must recognise that the 'Railway Modeller' has no equal in the printed model railway media when it comes to the diary items and setting out to compete with that would cost (staff) time, and money in terms of pages lost for either copy or advertisements.  So in that respect it is probably a relatively simple commercial decision.

 

Secondly BRM, probably to a greater extent than the other magazines, is very 'web aware' and no doubt realises that the vast majority of shows are publicised by that route - in far greater detail than they could ever hope to emulate in a printed mag.  True they lose the opportunity to 'catch' folk who would otherwise be unaware of a show but I bet that number is not very significant and in any case some of them will be picked up via another arm of the publsher, in the shape of RM web.

 

Finally all the 'mainstream' magazine publishers engage in reader research not only asking us what we like about their mag but what we want to see more, or less, of - which helps them judge how editorial space can be used to best advantage.  But often such research also asks what other mags etc we read and we all know that still the Modeller tends to dominate the market so quite likely many who read BRM also read the Modeller - which neatly takes us back to the first point about the Modeller's basically unassailable position in respect of putting such information in print.  I truly wonder how many folk buy BRM for the diary information?

 

Oh and as a possibly relevant postscript I really can't recall the last time I looked at the exhibition diary in an y of the printed magazines - I get all my information on shows from the web.


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#11 SteveCole

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 09:31

Hi all,

 

Thanks for your comments. It’s interesting to hear the various opinions on the matter.

 

As discussed many months ago, this decision wasn’t taken lightly. Whenever we carry out market research Diary Dates was one of the least popular sections of the magazine. We also, as Stationmaster suggests, have a huge online presence through RMweb and World of Railways. The decision was made to reduce BRM Diary Dates to only paid-for entries and have any free entries online. We would do the upload to World-of-Railways and leave club members/exhibition organisers to upload to RMweb.

 

Let’s put this into context. RMweb gets over 150,000 unique visitors a month, that’s more than ALL four main model railway magazines combined. World-of-Railways is much smaller but still gets more unique visitors than any of the magazines sell on the newsstand. By keeping this online presence free it’s still possible for you to promote your shows to a huge audience.

 

The two pages we saved (on average) would be used for either an extra article or to extend the space given to other articles. Since we made this change our sales have been on an upward slope. BRM December was over 10% up year-on-year (newsstand, Digital Editions & subscriptions). I’m not for one second saying this is down to our change in policy of Diary Dates, but the magazine is moving in the right direction and will, increasingly, form a closer relationship with our online resource.

 

I hope this goes someway to explaining our decision.

 

Steve


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#12 andyram

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 22:13

Thank you for the explanation on here Steve. I have just found this thread so please forgive me adding my opinion. Whilst I understand the reasons you have given, I do feel that the decision to charge everyone for diary entries quite a sad one - and one that shows a lack of support for the smaller shows and events that perhaps cannot afford to fork out for such advertising. I speak from experience as someone who managed a small show on a limited budget.

Yes the Railway Modellor has a very comprehensive list as do the other monthly magazines, I am sure smaller shows will continue to use these. The UK Model Shops site also provides a wide and free web advert. For now other free coverage is still there. I will certainly continue to use these in order to keep myself aware of what is going on. In truth, if faced with a choice between BRM and another magazine it is possible that I will choose the other mag because of the reduced diary in BRM. It will not be the only criteria so it is possible the mag will not suffer as a result. However I do feel that BRM is risking its reputation with such a decision. As I have said, it is a slap in the face for many smaller shows. This comes on the back of a recent issue where BRM openly advertised an article that turned out to be only available to subscribers. I wonder if BRM is risking becoming elitist.

Sadly I can also report a third issue. As I have mentioned already, I have organised a small model railway show for a few years. As people who know will be aware, this was a very different type of show. Prior to the final event I contacted a member of the BRM team via RMWeb asking if the mag would like to include a feature on a show that encourages younger people into the hobby. Said person did not even bother to read the message!

Sadly, and I do mean sadly, these recent three events have cast a huge shadow over BRM for me. This is a shame especially in view of the groundbreaking 3D issue produced recently. This was the only copy I have bought for sometime and was truly excellent. Credit where credit is due, but criticism where it is warranted too.
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#13 Removed a/c_eddie reffin

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 22:37

As the exhibition manager for the Inverness MRC show, I'm saddened by this news. I realise that the magazine is a business and have read Steve's comments regarding the decision but, for me, small clubs like ours need all the help and exposure we can get. I hope that the rest of magazines don't follow suit and continue to provide this valuable service for small shows across the country. Not everyone buys multiple magazines- I currently only get one mag on subscription - BRM (which is likely to change soon) and I'm sure many others are like me in restricting our paper media purchases.



#14 SteveCole

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:03

As the exhibition manager for the Inverness MRC show, I'm saddened by this news. I realise that the magazine is a business and have read Steve's comments regarding the decision but, for me, small clubs like ours need all the help and exposure we can get. I hope that the rest of magazines don't follow suit and continue to provide this valuable service for small shows across the country. Not everyone buys multiple magazines- I currently only get one mag on subscription - BRM (which is likely to change soon) and I'm sure many others are like me in restricting our paper media purchases.

 

Smaller clubs can receive more exposure that can be offered by ALL FOUR main magazines combined by listing their show on RMweb and World of Railways...both of which are free to all! 


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#15 David Bigcheeseplant

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:09

The big issue is there are still many people who do not use the internet, and there only exposure to shows is through magazines and flyers.


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#16 Phil Parker

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 09:34

The big issue is there are still many people who do not use the internet, and there only exposure to shows is through magazines and flyers.

 

According to the Office for National Statistics:

  • In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017, 89% of adults in the UK had recently used the internet (in the last 3 months), up from 88% in 2016; while 9% had never used the internet, down from 10% in 2016.

  • Virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users (99%), in contrast with 41% of adults aged 75 years and over.

  • 90% of men and 88% of women were recent internet users, up from 89% and 86% in 2016.

  • Recent internet use among women aged 75 and over had almost trebled from 2011.

  • 22% of disabled adults had never used the internet in 2017, down 25% in 2016.

  • Northern Ireland is catching up with the other UK regions in recent internet use, reaching 84% in 2017, however, it remained the region with the lowest recent use.

My instinct would be that non-web users would be more likely to buy multiple magazines as they aren't wasting time on the Internet. Also, the survey only looks at people who use the web themselves. There has always been a large number of "proxy users", predominantly older people, who ask friends and family to look stuff up for them so they don't entirely miss out so the relatively small numbers are not onlinen't completely without web access,


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#17 Wheatley

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:22

  • In Quarter 1 (Jan to Mar) 2017, 89% of adults in the UK had recently used the internet (in the last 3 months), up from 88% in 2016; while 9% had never used the internet, down from 10% in 2016.

  • Virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users (99%), in contrast with 41% of adults aged 75 years and over.

Nevertheless, most of the railway and aircraft modellers I know (as in actually know, not know of) don't use any modelling sites, even though they might look up the weather forecast or football results on their phone.

 

I do, and I still rely on the RM listing rather than looking on here.


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#18 grahame

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:23

It seems to me that railway modellers tend to fall in to the high age profile so are most likely not to have or use the internet. I was quite surprised just how many members of the NGS were not internet connected, don't want it or can't afford it.

 

I'm not so sure that those older people are likely to be multiple magazine purchasers - I can't see any reason or connection there  - as they are more likely to be pensioners, more 'careful' with their money and have less disposable income. It's an age thing.

 

G


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#19 Wheatley

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:28

 

Let’s put this into context. RMweb gets over 150,000 unique visitors a month, that’s more than ALL four main model railway magazines combined.

 

Yes, but you've only got 32000 members, so at least 118,000 of those are the same people reading it several times. On that basis I'm at least 30 RM readers because I've read a bit of the last issue every night.

 

How to lie with statistics.


Edited by Wheatley, 10 January 2018 - 10:28 .

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#20 SteveCole

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 10:43

Yes, but you've only got 32000 members, so at least 118,000 of those are the same people reading it several times. On that basis I'm at least 30 RM readers because I've read a bit of the last issue every night.

 

How to lie with statistics.

 

Lie? 32,000 are registered, many more are not...


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#21 Miss Prism

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:01

Although many exhibitions aim to break even rather than make a profit, I take the view they are as much commercial ventures as BRM is, so I can understand BRM's thinking on this one, and £30 for a paid entry seems not unreasonable. I think most exhibition managers are savvy enough to know they need to use a plurality of advertising avenues (local, national, web, paper, etc) to entice visitors.
 
What I think is remarkable is not only RMweb remains free, but offers a level of space for exhibition details that print cannot match.
 

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#22 40F

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:16

I think that the UK Model Shop Directory will be the first site most people check before any others I certainly check that site before any other. That site together with publicity picked up at other events attended . The attitude of look it up on the web is a little irritating to say the least


Edited by 40F, 10 January 2018 - 11:38 .

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#23 Wheatley

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:32

Lie? 32,000 are registered, many more are not...

Presumably you know how many of those 150,000 views are unregistered members, will you share that ? (and even then that's still not the number of readers, it's the number of times it was read.) I presume you also know exactly how many page views a month the diary section gets and I bet it's not 150,000. 

 

My point is that it isn't a fair comparison so the numbers are meaningless. You're comparing apples with oranges and expressing the answer in either bananas or pears depending on which suits best.  


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#24 red death

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:40

Yes, but you've only got 32000 members, so at least 118,000 of those are the same people reading it several times. On that basis I'm at least 30 RM readers because I've read a bit of the last issue every night.

 

How to lie with statistics.

 

I don't think it is a lie, but a misinterpretation of what the figure of 150k unique visitors means.  Assuming unique visitors is defined as Google Analytics defines it then IIRC it only counts one visit per month from the same IP address (how many times they visit is irrelevant).  So multiple people reading from the same IP address (entirely possible) would only be counted as one visit, but the flip side is that one person visiting from multiple IP addresses (eg home, mobile, wifi hotspots, away from home, or work etc or if IP addresses change) will all count as unique visitors thus inflating the figure substantially - a single person could easily register 5-10 unique visits per month.

 

I really don't think that comparing magazine circulation with unique visitors is a fair comparison!

 

Cheers, Mike


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#25 40F

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:42

Presumably you know how many of those 150,000 views are unregistered members, will you share that ? (and even then that's still not the number of readers, it's the number of times it was read.) I presume you also know exactly how many page views a month the diary section gets and I bet it's not 150,000. 

 

My point is that it isn't a fair comparison so the numbers are meaningless. You're comparing apples with oranges and expressing the answer in either bananas or pears depending on which suits best.  

 

 

More likely trying justify the charge


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