Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Did Advertisers Spur Insight Switch? Magazine Ends Four Years of Controlled Circulation

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Did Advertisers Spur Insight Switch? Magazine Ends Four Years of Controlled Circulation

Article excerpt

Did advertisers spur Insight switch?

Washington, D.C.--At a time when controlled or targeted circulation is the darling of many media buyers, the publisher of Insight claims his newsweekly's recent conversion to all-paid is at the insistence of advertisers. And so, after nearly four years of controlled circulation, Insight switched on April 1 to all-paid, dropping from one million circulation to 500,000.

The magazine's original plan was not to become all-paid, claims publisher Robert Dillingham. Advertisers and agencies, he asserts, kept insisting that people care more about a magazine if they pay for it.

"We believed in controlled circulation. We wanted to pick our readers and guarantee our advertisers demographics," Dillingham says. "We tried to explain that to the marketing community." The original controlled-circulation base had been created from purchased lists of influential, high-income professionals.

Although Dillingham could not yet claim any new advertisers because of the switch to paid, he believes that if Insight had not converted, "the potential for growth would have been curtailed." Current ad rates for a full-page, four-color ad are $15,000, about 25 percent less than before the conversion. But, says associate publisher Jack Mandable, "we are going to pick up additional advertisers."

Launched in September 1985 with a 50,000 circulation, the magazine grew to one million in about 18 months. The conversion to paid began in 1987, after readers were questioned to see if, and how much, they would pay for the magazine. …

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