Jan 8, 2011

Cultural Magazines are collectible rather than consumable

Each issue of a cultural magazine adds itself to the previous issues, without replacing any of them, or reducing their relevance.

These qualities make it difficult for cultural magazines to achieve the effect of immediacy or timeliness attained by magazines in other (non-cultural) categories.

On the other hand, each issue of a non-cultural magazine is replaced and made obsolete by  succeeding issues. Hence the logic of the standard newsstand system of cover-only returns.

Marketing and distribution models must be designed to reflect the timelessness of the cultural magazine.

The Mags Canada newsstand system of destroying “obsolete” copies contradicts the cultural magazine mandate, which reflects timelessness and accumulation rather than periodicity – copies unsold when a new issue appears are still valid as they ever were and could or should be retained for further circulation. (Several ways of achieving this can be imagined.)

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