Magazine or Catalog?

13 October 2014

Good morning out there in Cyberspace

Over the weekend I picked up my first issue of “Recoil” magazine which bills itself as a “Gun Lifestyle” periodical. It was Issue #15 the Nov/Dec. 2014 edition, currently on sale now if you want to check it out.  I have seen it on the magazine racks around town for a while and as I had $9.00 worth of coupons to use up at my local pharmacy, I picked one up.  By the way the cover price is $8.99 so I only paid sales tax for it.  For that price I got my money’s worth.

I got it home and quickly flipped through it.  And then the confusion set in.  My first impression was did I buy a magazine or a catalog?

So, later I sat down to really look through it and read some of the articles.  On page 14, I found what normally would be called the Editor’s page and read it as I usually do to get a general feeling for the magazine.  Within this editorial write up was the following statement: “The $9.00 you fork over every time you purchase RECOIL enables us to do that, as it means we’re not dependent on advertising revenue to keep the lights on – in fact, we deliberately keep our ad rates low, so that companies have less influence than our individual readership.”  Now that sounds really good to me, as many magazines seem to always talk about the good things when they do a product review and skip the not so good ones.

But if this is the case, why did I think this is a catalog and not a magazine?   So I thought I would dig a little deeper and investigate.  What I found is very interesting.

  1. The magazine shows it has 168 pages, plus a “Special advertising section” which adds another 10 pages inside the mag covers. By the way, 3 out of the 4 pages of the actual cover pages also have advertising on them.
  2. The front cover states that there are 2 buyers guides in this issue.
    1. First is on “Body armor” and it covers 11 pages.
    2. Second is on “Corrosion-Resistant Knives” which is 3 pages long.
    3. Total pages of official “Buyers guides” is 14 pages or 8.3% of the total magazine.
  3. When I counted the pages with ads on them it came to 79 pages or 47.03% of the magazines total pages.
  4. Now I am no math wiz in any way shape or form so my math could be off a percentage point or so. But when I add this up it comes to 168 pages plus the special add section of 10 pages plus 4 cover pages totaling 182 pages in total.
  5. Of the 182 total pages, 133 of them have some type of advertising on them! That equals  73.08 % of this magazine contains ads of some type.


So good readers, I ask you, would you call this a magazine or a catalog?  Please let me know what you think about this.  FYI, I am going to send this as a letter to the editor just to see what they have to say about it.  I will let you know if I get a response back.

Now for the record, I am not saying it is a bad magazine the few articles it does contain are well written and the photography is very good.  But I really wonder about their advertising policy and how it ties into the statement the editor made about not depending upon advertising revenues.  Because when you look at the numbers RECOIL is very advertising heavy for a magazine.  So I will buy at least one more, just to see if they are all this advertising heavy or not?  If they are, I probably won’t buy any more.  Because when I want a catalog, I will just get one.
Thanks all.  Take care out there in Cyberspace and here in the mean streets of reality.





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