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Re: Ad blocker

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:40 pm

Paul Gilby wrote: So, whilst it’s a fair proposal to suggest subscribers should be given an ad-free browsing experience, I’m sorry but the cost of your annual subscription is not comparable to the high costs of running a site of our size. So, the number of advert display impressions on our site and the click through to an advertiser's site are the only way we can keep a commercial balance.

That sort of implies that you make more money from a site user via ad impressions/click through than you do from an online subscription. Is that right or am I reading too much into that paragraph?

CC
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Re: Ad blocker

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:47 pm

I'm sure PG will be along to clarify shortly, but I think you've misinterpreted his meaning.

I believe what Paul is saying is that the profit margin in the subscription models isn't enough to support all the normal magazine production overheads as well as the additional overhead of running the website and everything associated with it.

Hence the importance of online advertising as an income stream and the related problem of ad-blockers which reduce recorded ad displays and thus diminish that income stream.

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Re: Ad blocker

Postby Forum Admin » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:12 pm

ConcertinaChap wrote:That sort of implies that you make more money from a site user via ad impressions/click through than you do from an online subscription. Is that right or am I reading too much into that paragraph?

CC

Not really. It's a blurred area to quantify.

The opening topic was really about allowing those readers with Print subs to also get a 'bonus free' Web sub. As Paul explained, in the early days of web sites, to help establish the SOS site we did effectively give away a free 'eSub' (as it used to be called) with Print subs, as well as selling them on their own. Web subs are VAT-able digital items and prior to the EU screwing with things and changing the rules, we paid a small proportion of the retail price of the eSub to the UK's VAT authorities.

Then the EU changed the rules and whereas previously any 'eSub' or 'Print+free eSub' sale made to a UK/EU customer included UK VAT at the prevailing rate (initially 17.5%, then 20%), with very little notice we (and lots of other sellers of digital goods) had to charge the VAT element based on what country the subscriber hailed from. All at differing rates!

At the time we were faced with having to negotiate with the VAT authorities in 27 EU countries as to how much VAT they wanted to charge us on our so-called 'free eSub'.

We were not charging subscribers any more money back then for the 'eSub' when bundled with the Print subscription, and the thought of having to lose 27 slices of VAT on every sub... well, you can hopefully understand why we took the decision to remove the free element from that subs offer.

The only subscribers who continued to get their free eSub (duly renamed Web Sub) were those who had bought 2-year subs prior to the EU VAT rule changes.

There's no VAT (currently) on printed magazines in the UK.

So, this explains the policy shift and why we cannot just give a so-called 'free' Web Sub to every Print magazine subscriber -- the EU would still want their VAT slices, if we did, and we'd have to cut into the already small margin we make on sold Print subs to pay the EU. That way madness lies...

Returning to the ad impressions -- we only have a limited number of web 'slots' on the site and we deliberately limit the number of different advertisers showing in specific slots. Sometimes, advertisers pay extra for greater exclusivity so that their ad is served more times than other companies' ads designated to that slot.

Lots of our advertisers like to buy a 'magazine+website' ad package, so it's difficult to know the true costs. We certainly make more 'profit' per item from paid-for Web subs and Tablet subs compared to the Print sub, because there is a lower production charge associated with digital content. But again, it's not so clean cut since the majority of the content we put online is written initially for the print magazine and thus 'paid for' (staff and office overheads, printing, mailing, etc) primarily by a mixture of the paper advertising, print mag subscriptions, newsstand cover sales from newsagent/bookstore retail sales around the globe, etc.

Hope this has answered some of your question?

cheers,
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Re: Ad blocker

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:50 pm

I'm not sure it does in that "The opening topic was really about allowing those readers with Print subs to also get a 'bonus free' Web sub" was actually a different thread :) . Hugh's reading of the text I was intrigued by is likely correct, I'd guess and I'll take that thought away.

That seems churlish after such a long post, with a lot of interesting stuff in it, sorry. Running a mag like this is clearly like the proverbial swan, sailing along calmly and majestically but with a hell of a lot of activity going on out of sight.

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Re: Ad blocker

Postby Forum Admin » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:11 pm

Oops. :oops:

I had both topics open in tabs... but some of what I wrote covers your question too, doesn't it?

Yes, SOS punches well above its weight. We strive to produce everything we're involved with to a professionally high standard, and we all care deeply about our readers (and advertisers). Though so many readers and especially site users forget that we're not a publishing house with a 40-storey office HQ.

Like lots of the industry, we're a small group of dedicated folk with a passion for the subjects we cover, in print and online. And everyone does more than one 'job' on a daily basis.

In approximately 20 working days each month, the SOS team produces two print versions of the best music/recording technology magazine in the world (UK and US editions) -- a mammoth task -- prepares the articles and news for the web site, generates standard and retina tablet issues of the UK and US editions for iPad and for Android, scripts and generates videos for our YouTube channel, posts and replies to our Twitter, Facebook and SOS Forum 'social' platforms, answers reader emails, support portal queries... and that's not counting running the business side of things.

That's why some of us also work at the weekend and into the evenings. ;-)
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Re: Ad blocker

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:26 pm

Well, as ever, many thanks to all involved. I do love this place.

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Re: Ad blocker

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:47 pm

Like he said! :thumbup:
SOS is partially responsible for me having a career in music and not making too many wrong turns.
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Re: Ad blocker

Postby blinddrew » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:17 pm

Another hearty +1 from me.

(though not the bit about having a career in music! :D )
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