To be honest, I have always disliked the word "blog", maybe it's an age thing, I don't know. I'd stick to "online diary" but then I'd sound like a complete plum, so that's not an option either (quiet at the back, please).
That isn't, though, the reason it has taken us at Newsstand several years to catch on and decide that we need to create one. You see, we've just been far too busy trying to break the mould and image of magazine sales online to be worried about gassing off to complete strangers.
Back in 1995, we created the first subscription website, certainly in the UK & Europe, as the wholesale distribution of magazines (of which we were part) had never been the most efficient when it came to the finer details. It has been harder and harder for magazines to get in front of their potential readers ever since. To be fair, the newspaper and magazine wholesale system in the UK, was/is an amazing process and back in the '90s we made a video of it which I will post here if can dig it up...The set up has uniquely allowed thousands of magazines to have their own route to market, regardless of their circulation and sales figures, and is unmatched across the globe.
However, and to cut an extremely long, complex (and sometimes bitterly unfair!) story short, it has become very difficult for smaller magazines to be noticed in the wider retail marketplace as chain retailers charge more and more just to have a magazine on their shelves and smaller retailers lose the will to battle with the inimitable paperwork and delivery charges they are faced with.
The result, publishers slowly start to develop their own subscription offers to customers, but this doesn't cater for those that want to browse and buy a single magazine and not get tied down to the direct debit and increasing charges subscription templates. What's more, these subscriptions are reduced more and more in price until they are even given away for nothing in some instances.
That's where Newsstand comes in. We stock current magazines, over 4,000 of them in fact. We show almost every current front cover and viewers can zoom in and browse over 15,000 covers - a number which grows daily. We've developed an android app (Pocket Newsstand) which allows our customers to buy easily on the move and we are working on many more developments in support of the printed magazine whilst others, including even some of those that produce them, appear to be consigning them to history well before time. And yes, we do make you pay for the magazines and even the postage and we make no apologies. Some of these mags are excellent, they're worth it and not only that - if you've paid decent money you might actually value them a little more...who knows.
Thinking about it, or motto could be: "Publishers meet Readers...Readers, Publishers"., as every magazine is now available through us, in every postcode throughout the world.
It's a tough time for publishing, there's no doubt, but we feel there's plenty to get excited about as British publishers produce some amazing magazines that you will have never even heard of...Newsstand just needs to let off steam every now and then...(which will be done via this online diary in the style of a grumpy old man).