Being Subtle While Screaming Loudly

I have recently been participating in surveys online for money. First, don’t panic. My blog has not been spambot hijacked. I signed up primarily for the site’s honesty, I was never promised a million dollars and I actually find solace in tedium.

Most of these surveys frequently ask questions about advertising, which is something I don’t think about particularly often, primarily because I live in a small self-made bubble called “no cable TV and Firefox flavored ad-block.”

Today though, I decided to pick up a copy of Wired magazine that I had read before, and actually took a fucking look at it.

Like, a real look.

I decided to actually look at the advertisements. I feel like it had been too long. They are actually a novel sort of thing, bold and interesting and with much thought put into every pixel per square inch on the page.

After approximately three, I came to a startling realization. Wired has decided that there should be an ad in view every time the magazine is open. There is an ad, get this, on every single right side for seventy-seven pages. I thought about this, perhaps to the point of over-thinking it, and realized that the right side is the side which is easier for me to read when I’m holding magazines or books (either because of the way they are by nature, because I am right-handed, or because I hold books). I don’t struggle to read the left side, as it were, but I have to make slightly more of an effort to adjust my attention. Upon this realization, I was more offended by it than even the sheer amount of ads. Page 77, by the way, was the only ad which was not on the right side, but rather, a double-page ad sprawled across the bottom half of the entire open spread of the magazine.

The next pages comprised of Wired’s “cover stories.” There were 3-4 cover stories (which again, I had already read), each ad-free. Alarming, perhaps, because I had read them previously without realizing I had been subjected to approximately 35 full page ads beforehand.

So far have magazines fallen that every other page must be a cleverly camouflaged ad, a gigantic image which blends in so well with the image and text on the mirror page that it is plainly obvious that the magazine’s designers have allowed their work to be completely influenced by some schmuck at an ad company.

And so sad am I to have only realized today that these ad companies are perhaps more clever than I.


One response to “Being Subtle While Screaming Loudly

  1. the Magazine Publisher gets paid, not by subscriptions or sales, but by adds sold. each page, and each placement has a particular value that the advertisers are willing to pay.

    The adds are sold based on both their location in the magazine, and the average number of readers. Normally, the magazines are sold to distributors at close to cost (and sometimes less) and the distributor makes their profit when they sell them to the retailer.

    direct subscriptions are normaly the ONLY profit a publisher will see that doesn’t involve advertisements, and the per magazine income from the subscriptions is often lower than the profit from the advertisements.

    If the newsstand price is $5.50, the newsstand paid aproximately $4.50 for the issue, the distributor paid aproximately $2.80 (printing cost were VERY close to this number), the subscriber paid roughly $4.25, and the advertisers paid almost $5.25 to the publisher.

    The ONLY people that are certain to make a profit are the printers.

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