Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

June 15, 2011

Return to sender

Filed under: B2B magazines,consumer magazines,rbi — privatefraser @ 7:51 pm
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A wee bit of news from last week that slipped almost unnoticed onto the wires: RBI have sold off Quadrant Subscription Services to the mailing company Air Business.

QSS are in the boring but important world of managing magazine subscriptions – banking money, answering queries, generating the data of who should be mailed each issue. It’s a low margin, volume-driven business with a diminishing number of major players.

What Air Business want to do with a company losing clients and operating a geriatric computer system is anyone’s guess, but the sale is indicative of RBI’s flight from the printed word. When they had dozens of titles that needed to be mailed out to subscribers it made sense to own the company that managed that reader relationship. Now they don’t, it doesn’t – QSS are ill-equipped to manage digital subscriptions (i.e. they can’t do it) and the investment needed to bring their systems up to date is huge.

Has anyone counted how many magazines remain at RBI? Does anyone want to place a bet on when the last one will close or be sold?

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