Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Express Publications in magazine subscriptions push

Mark Fletcher
January 18th, 2014 · 14 Comments

magstoreExpress Publications sent out an email yesterday promoting heavily discount magazine subscription offers that end on Monday for many of their titles. In this promotion, Live To Ride, for example, is being offered at $79 for 20 issues instead of the usual price of $170 for this many.

While I understand that subscriptions play an important role for magazine publishers in their business mix, they must understand that it is galling for newsagents to on the one hand see publishers offering a 53% discount for subscriptions that will be expensive to fulfil while on the other hand refusing to provide more equitable terms that reflect the cost of supporting and selling magazines in retail.


Category: Magazine subscriptions

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Wally // Jan 18, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Perhaps we should all subscribe to them for the number of issues we think we can sell.
    We would make a better margin and not have to bother about returns. Could this be the new magazine model for all of us.???
    I was offered Time magazine the other day for $1.80 per copy and a FREE gift.??


  • 2 DAVID // Jan 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    we do this already


  • 3 Steve // Jan 18, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Hows that work for timeliness. I know from the comments from customers who subscribe that their mags are usually some days if not a week later than we get them in store. I would think this would cause problems with not having stock during the initial and most important time for sales.


  • 4 Brendan // Jan 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Steve other publications seem to get to customers earlier as well, it;’s a real mixed bag but the margin would justify the means.


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Jan 18, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    I’m surprised their systems don’t pick it up and stop supplying for resale.


  • 6 DAVID // Jan 18, 2014 at 4:12 PM



  • 7 ebo // Jan 19, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    This idea can be applied to newspapers, if managed properly:
    Subscribe (on-line) at a significant discount using an suitable address in own delivery area, publisher then adds a copy for home delivery to you as the newsagent. Resell the copy in shop and keep the service (delivery) fee too.


  • 8 June // Jan 19, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    bad attitude boys – (didn’t notice any girls in these posts)
    I don’t think it is a good thing to be thinking of ways to “beat the system”
    The system is the system and we have to work within its confines to the best of our ability.


  • 9 jenny // Jan 19, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Agree June, and what a lot of stuffing around to make a little bit of extra money!


  • 10 ebo // Jan 19, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    It is not beating the system, it is in fact the outcome newspaper publishers want; they heavily discount and promote at great costs to increase the valuable paid subscription (circulation) figures, even at the expense of killing newsagents’ direct and fully-priced subscriptions and retail sales.
    They cut commission to newsagents, they give away papers, they push everyone to digital (subscriptions) or migrate them whenever they can, and other retailers get better deal than newsagents. The “system” died a few years ago, to be followed by the printed papers. Newspaper publishers are preparing for this outcome — note they are no longer “newspaper” companies but “media” companies.


  • 11 Jarryd Moore // Jan 19, 2014 at 6:32 PM


    Better that we try to beat the system than let the system beat us.

    The industry has copped more than its fair share of beatings from the newspaper monopolies to be worried about playing nice and working within a system stacked against it.

    While I’d always prefer the collective approach it’s simply not going to happen. Individual action from newsagents is the only option left.


  • 12 Brendan // Jan 20, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Girls, most of us are venting but it highlights the inequities in the industry.l


  • 13 June // Jan 20, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Boys, we still love you – I’m just being big momma!


  • 14 Amanda // Jan 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    This is a debate which has gone on for the ages.

    Yes Newsagents SHOULD be getting a much greater margin, but there is NO way to bring every agent to the table to agree on or abide by mutually beneficial terms.

    For example, a major retailer such as Woolworths/Coles/7eleven…they dictate terms. They tell suppliers what stock they will carry and how many pockets they will allocate to the category. Their categories are standard across every store, and display space outside of the everyday allocated space is paid for.

    Take the 3500 newsagents (or whatever that number has dropped to today) and NO two individual agencies do things the same. There is no conformity, there is no accountability, there is no common goal, there is no leadership.

    If a newsagency group of 3500 agents stated they wanted 50% margin from Express Publications or they will remove Live to Ride magazine from sale, you can guarantee a large portion of those 3500 agents WOULD NOT comply, and act in the best interests of their own customers and own interests.

    Unfortunately this is the industry we are in.

    Australia wide, the retail channel shows :
    Woolworths with 900+ stores
    Coles with 750 stores
    7eleven with 670+ stores
    BigW with 175 stores
    Kmart with 175 stores
    Target with 300+stores
    NewsLink with 40+ stores in Australia and overseas.

    Compare that with the 3500+ newsagents whom are individually owned and very few are members of a marketing group….
    300 + Nextra
    250 + Newspower
    150 + NewsExpress
    45 + Lucky Charm
    34 + SupaNews

    And how many are actually members of associations???

    So, let’s be realistic. No deal can be made on achieving greater margin until some of those groups come together and more individuals join those groups.


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