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BRM Price Increase

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The problem with PDF files is that they can easily be passed around.  I know the guys at Railway Herald magazine have the same problem - they once told me they still do the PDF version because half of the readership prefers it, but they are fully aware that it gets illegally passed around to others - their subscription terms say that all downloads are for your own personal use only.  To me that fair all round, but people do pass things about which is unfair both to them as they loose money having produced it, and to me as a reader because I've paid the subscription, so why should somebody else read it for free?

 

So I suspect the likes of BRM and the rest are loathe to go down the same route for the same reasons.  The ability to pass a digital copy on and still keep your own version seems to be probably one of the two most inherent problem with the web.  Like photos, anyone can download a picture from a website, regardless of various companies and software that say they can stop it, they can't - its part of the DNA on how the internet works.  Once you can see it on screen its downloadable end of discussion.

 

EDIT: Sorry Kelly - your response must have appeared after I loaded the page!

 

It is something that DEMU have been looking at in recent years with some calls for UPDate to go digital only. The problem of PDFs being 'insecure' has been a big counter to going that way and currently we have a 3 issue gap between what is available for download from the wiki for all members to download. It costs a lot to print and post the issues (postage being the biggest factor usually), but for me personally it is much better value than a digital only version.

 

The non-PDF nature of magazines doesn't stop them getting shared around to some extent really though, for some where there is a will there is a way etc.

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I must admit I hadn't even considered the passing on of digital copies - but you can do that anyway with paper versions.

 

Stewart

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I must admit I hadn't even considered the passing on of digital copies - but you can do that anyway with paper versions.

True, but with paper versions you can’t put them online for thousands of people to download at the click of a button

 

Stewart

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It is something that DEMU have been looking at in recent years with some calls for UPDate to go digital only. The problem of PDFs being 'insecure' has been a big counter to going that way and currently we have a 3 issue gap between what is available for download from the wiki for all members to download. It costs a lot to print and post the issues (postage being the biggest factor usually), but for me personally it is much better value than a digital only version.

 

The non-PDF nature of magazines doesn't stop them getting shared around to some extent really though, for some where there is a will there is a way etc.

 

It can always be done .. there are many ways and it cannot be stopped, but I suspect the main issue is PDF files and systems like Dropbox, Google Drive and WeTransfer make it easy!

 

 

I must admit I hadn't even considered the passing on of digital copies - but you can do that anyway with paper versions.

 

Stewart

 

 

Hi Stewart,

Yes you can, but there is a critical difference - if you pass your paper copy of BRM on, you no longer have it.   Also you can only pass it to one person, ok they can pass it to another and so on and so, but your looking at a small number.  A PDF can be emailed to hundreds in less than a minute and you still have your copy!

 

Thats the problem for any digital magazine.

 

Rich

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it's a bit like records/CDs/DVDs. 

 

I can buy one and listen to/watch it. Then I can pass it on to someone else or sell it. The record company doesn't really care as they've had a purchase. If they did care, then all the second hand record shops would be getting closed down.

 

But if I was copying them and then passing them on, then that's a different kettle of fish.

 

 

 

Jason

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If we sold the mag as a PDF, then we'd only sell one copy. As we found a couple of months ago, people delight in "sticking it to the man" by posting PDF copies on-line for others to help themselves to.

 

More important though, the digital BRM makes use of all the technology to allow photo galleries, audio, video and downloads to be part of the package. What you get isn't just an electronic copy of the paper magazine, we work to make it much more than that.

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A few points. Although RMWeb is free at the point of use I'm not sure that Warner provide it to us out of the goodness of their hearts, A little thing called Advertising is also involved. If it wasn't generating revenue I'm sure it would soon be dropped !

 

As Steve mentioned a couple of months ago - RMweb doesn't make any money for Warners at the moment. It is subsidised by the sales of magazines. It's one of the reasons we get so frustrated when people use the forum to attack the mag. Biting the hand that feeds comes to mind. Advertising brings in some income, but it doesn't pay for Andy's hand-rolled Staffordshire oatcakes delivered by his butler on a silver salver.

 

Long term, there are a few ideas floating around, but then there isn't a publisher out there looking for a way to make the web pay for itself. For the moment, it's an investment in the future with a hint of altruism mixed in.

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Just as an aside, whilst I was at work (in the comms industry) I often heard the statement that only one thing paid the bills in the internet industry. Guess what it was?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porn !

 

Stewart

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Not attacking the magazine Phil just being a realist. When I said generating revenue I meant enough to help cover costs rather than operating at a loss. As long as it can be run almost cost neutral it is a good way of promoting BRM and warners. Certainly not trying to bite the hand that feeds !

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If we sold the mag as a PDF, then we'd only sell one copy.

How about making a PDF version available a month (or 2 months) in arrears? I would be quite happy with that.

 

...R

Edited by Robin2

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How about making a PDF version available a month (or 2 months) in arrears? I would be quite happy with that.

 

...R

Would you pay for it though?

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How about making a PDF version available a month (or 2 months) in arrears? I would be quite happy with that.

 

...R

 

 

Would you pay for it though?

 

More to the point, would anyone else once it's been posted on the web? Back issues still have a value.

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Not attacking the magazine Phil just being a realist. When I said generating revenue I meant enough to help cover costs rather than operating at a loss. As long as it can be run almost cost neutral it is a good way of promoting BRM and warners. Certainly not trying to bite the hand that feeds !

 

I know YOU weren't attacking anyone, don't worry. It does happen though.

 

Being "cost neutral" is an interesting concept. Andy and I are answering questions in our own, unpaid, time. Anyone who has seen Andy Y in the evening at a show will know how much time he invests in keeping things on-track. Should RMweb employ a crack round-the-clock team to moderate the forum and answer questions? If  the answer is yes, that just pushes the point where income matches expenditure even further into the future. What ARE the acceptable costs of RMweb? That desicion is well above my pay grade!

 

Most people underestimate just how time-consuming running a forum is and how much they rely on people being generous with their time. Of course, we could adopt the Facebook model of income generation, but we're too nice for that.

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Most people underestimate just how time-consuming running a forum is and how much they rely on people being generous with their time. Of course, we could adopt the Facebook model of income generation, but we're too nice for that.

The community functions as a result of a balance of give and take from various sides. Largely it's self-regulating and self-supporting (in operation if not funding) and it's only the exceptions which take time. It's not a problem to help someone who needs help but it is a problem to give time to someone who thinks it's their right to take time (and try to escalate a complaint when I haven't personally pandered to their self-centred behaviour).

 

The vast majority of the membership have my personal thanks for the way they conduct themselves, thank goodness we are not Facebook/YouTube/Twitter etc. They're not communities, they are warzones.

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Seems we are only looking at this from one direction, the reader. Look at the whole magazine/publication and an important part is advertising and the money that is generated. Then you have to think of the selling process. I assume newsagents still work on a 100% markup and return any unsold copies. There is then the distributor, also taking a cut, so how much of the £5.50 goes to the riginal publisher, and how dependent are they on it. Paper prices have gone up, but so have other costs.

From a potential advvertisers point of view(with one brief trip with BRM) I have to look at the whole package, and if a publicationis not reaching my target audience then I won't adverise in it. Look at the adverts in most magazines and you will get a pretty good idea of the target audience.

It always worries me when gimmicks are introduced. Some might actuall work, but many don't. They are there to promote the product, and if they don't actually boost the product then they have failed.

One thing about digital, and again it is from an advertisers point of view. When you read through a digital coy of a magazine, do you read the adverts in the same way, or do you skip over them. Maybe it is just me, but I tend to look more at printed adverts than digital ones. It might be that we get bombarded with digital ones so much online that we automatically switch off. If that is the case then digital advertising is a waste of time and money.

I believe digital does have a place, one being a good way to archive info in a way that can be easily searched through. On the other hand, when the power goes down it is easier reading a paper copy by candle!

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I have to admit that with a very few extremely rare exceptions, I take no notice of advertising whatsoever.  As for the current edition, sadly the 3D pictures and glasses were completely wasted on me as I seem to be one of the percentage of the human race for whom it doesn't work, all I got was a dark green/red blotchy mess so I have recycled it now.

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One thing about digital, and again it is from an advertisers point of view. When you read through a digital coy of a magazine, do you read the adverts in the same way, or do you skip over them. Maybe it is just me, but I tend to look more at printed adverts than digital ones. It might be that we get bombarded with digital ones so much online that we automatically switch off. If that is the case then digital advertising is a waste of time and money.

I believe digital does have a place, one being a good way to archive info in a way that can be easily searched through. On the other hand, when the power goes down it is easier reading a paper copy by candle!

I don't think the full potential of digital advertising has taken off in most of the modelling magazines although BRM comes the closest... If an advert contains a direct link or there is a link to buying a product straight from a review or a 'how to' then I'm more likely to make a purchase than through a paper magazine.

 

As an aside I'd also argue that I can read my copy no problem in a power cut as my ipad can manage a good few days without the need to be plugged in and you can also have charger packs on standby that require no mains electricity then for quite some time... long after your candle has burned out!

Edited by Beacon

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Would you pay for it though?

Yes - that is why I suggested it.

 

Of course that assumes the content is worth paying for - but the same is true of the paper magazine.

 

...R

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As an aside I'd also argue that I can read my copy no problem in a power cut as my ipad can manage a good few days without the need to be plugged in and you can also have charger packs on standby that require no mains electricity then for quite some time... long after your candle has burned out!

So instead of paying a few pence for candles in an emergency you've spent several £100's on an iPad and more on charging packs. Ignoring the environmental consequences of all those disposal electronics and endless charging, it sure is an expensive way to read a magazine! And reading a paper mag doesn't make you go blind, unlike screens. The paper v digital debate will rumble on but it will be a long time before digital is a truly viable alternative.

 

As to the price increase, I am surprised that publishers haven't been a bit more imaginative in generating income. Look at computer games, the days of spending £50 on a blockbuster game are dying, now the game is free and you spend far more in game. I'm guessing the ideas have been thought of but can't be implemented? Or is publishing unable to adapt like the record industry? Personally I think there is considerable scope to boost income from the BRM/RMWeb ecosystem, but I can imagine a range of technical, practical and legal hurdles.

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It's a valid point about advertising.

 

I'm much more likely to look at an advert on a printed page than I am when using the internet. I often find them intrusive and many people do get wary of the idea of "click here" as many experts tell people not to click on unwanted adverts. I do realise the digital magazine is different, but that fear may still be in place, particularly with the older generation.

 

 

 

Jason

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So instead of paying a few pence for candles in an emergency you've spent several £100's on an iPad and more on charging packs. Ignoring the environmental consequences of all those disposal electronics and endless charging, it sure is an expensive way to read a magazine! And reading a paper mag doesn't make you go blind, unlike screens. The paper v digital debate will rumble on but it will be a long time before digital is a truly viable alternative.

Well it was a slightly tongue in cheek comment but hey ho!

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So instead of paying a few pence for candles in an emergency you've spent several £100's on an iPad and more on charging packs. Ignoring the environmental consequences of all those disposal electronics and endless charging, it sure is an expensive way to read a magazine!  

 

 

Going ever so slightly off topic but the cost of moving heavy bundles of paper around the country has to be taken into account both before and after the printing process along with the wastage of those unsold. 

 

And reading a mag doesn't make you go blind,

 

 

It does if you read 'certain' magazines. . . . . I'm told. . . by a friend. . 

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It does if you read 'certain' magazines. . . . . I'm told. . . by a friend. . 

That's just a religious myth.

 

...R

(sign of a myth-spent adulthood)

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Going ever so slightly off topic but the cost of moving heavy bundles of paper around the country has to be taken into account both before and after the printing process along with the wastage of those unsold.

 That is one resason why other odeas have to be considered.

Printing locally and only if required, ie print to demand. Reduce size of page to a standard say A4, then it can be printed bty a new type of newsagent, who prints the magazine(it does not take that long), then can be finished off with metal spiral binding. Alternativly print off on A3 , fold and staple. It could be pre-ordered online, for collection. It still means large quanties of paper have to be transported around, but there is less wastage.

 

The candle issue did actually arise a couple of years ago, when power supplies to part of Scotland were cut for more than a few days. It was commented that people could not read their e-books! It does not have to be candles. A gravity powered LED light system has been developed for countries where there is poor electrical suply, and it is replacing oil lamps. Similar concept to the wind up radio and torch, but actually simpler.

Edited by rue_d_etropal
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So instead of paying a few pence for candles in an emergency you've spent several £100's on an iPad and more on charging packs. Ignoring the environmental consequences of all those disposal electronics and endless charging, it sure is an expensive way to read a magazine! And reading a paper mag doesn't make you go blind, unlike screens. The paper v digital debate will rumble on but it will be a long time before digital is a truly viable alternative.

 

 

 

 

Clearly you have rose tinted specs when it comes to the environmental impact of paper and paper making.

 

One ton new paper requires 4 tons clean water to effect the manufacture - and each time it goes round the recycle route that is another 4 tons.  Oh and speaking of recycle, paper is not infinitely recyclable.  Each time paper is recycled the fibres become shorter and it is estimated that after 6 uses the fibres are so short that they go out in the waste water from the process.  That waste has to be captured using flocculating agents such as Aluminium sulphate - which got a bad name in Camelford in the West country in 1988 when too much was put in the water and the local village suffered poisoning.

 

Paper is most certainly not environmentally neutral.

 

 

Having said that I prefer paper, but the cost of shipping it to France means that my tablet has paid for itself with my BRM subscription though Pocketmags.

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