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CMA Questionnaire about loss of AP

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by PeteRob, Jan 10, 2020.

  1. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    As a subscriber to AP I just got an email from the Competition and Markets Agency asking my views on AP should TI media merge with another publisher. It is a survey monkey questionnaire seeking to know whether I’d move to another publication if AP ceased to exist. Clearly the answer is no. A free text option is also available in the multiple choice. I put

    “AP is unique weekly publication of immense pedigree that maintains an outstanding quality of material (editorial, technical, help, educational) that is unmatched. It would be an act of vandalism to remove this publication as a direct consequence of portfolio compression following merger between publishing bodies with overlapping interest in the photographic sector.”


    Future announces intention to acquire renowned magazine and digital publisher TI Media

    October 30th, 2019

    Future is thrilled to announce its intention to acquire TI Media, a renowned magazine and digital media company with a proud heritage in UK publishing.

    This acquisition signals one of the most important moments in Future’s history, expanding our portfolio to more than 220 global brands and giving us the opportunity to lead some of the magazine world’s most iconic titles.

    The acquisition of TI Media honours our ongoing strategy of expanding our global reach. It introduces three new verticals to Future’s consumer portfolio: Lifestyle, Women’s Interest and Sport, with popular titles such as Decanter, Wallpaper*, Country Life and Marie Claire UK.

    By utilising Future’s SEO and tech expertise, there’s great potential to scale TI Media’s brands both digitally and internationally. It also strengthens a number of our existing verticals and further diversifies our audience with a large female readership.

    Our CEO, Zillah Byng-Thorne, says: “Following a record-breaking year of huge organic growth at Future, I am delighted that we are now in a position to announce the proposed acquisition of TI Media. We have long admired TI Media, and I am thrilled at the prospect of bringing our exceptional teams together. I truly believe that through our combined passion, determination and expertise that we will be a super-force of specialist media”.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
    daft_biker and RogerMac like this.
  2. Lindsay Pennell

    Lindsay Pennell Well-Known Member

    I've just responded similarly to this questionnaire. I do hope this isn't the sounding of a death-knell for AP, I'd like to know what Future's intentions are with the magazine
    daft_biker likes this.
  3. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Why are we only talking about this now?
    Is Future a saviour or a threat?
    What happens in either case, takeover or not?
    From me these are not rhetorical questions. I have no idea of the answers. What little I do think that I know is that the printed magazine sector in general is struggling in hard times.
  4. Jimbo57

    Jimbo57 Well-Known Member

    Yep. Filled it in yesterday as honestly as I could. I'd hate to lose the printed magazine but, to be honest, the best photographic magazines (imho) nowadays are not those you can find in the newsagent but those published by the SIGs of the RPS, e.g. DIGIT, Landscape, Creative Eye, etc.
  5. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I was trying to find out if the email was genuine or malicious (the type where using the link in it downloads something that will try to nuke your PC). I will now use the link and look at the survey.

    I have found the following, which includes the news about TI Media. To think it all started with 'Amstrad Action'...
    However, growth by acquisistion usually results in cherry-picking from the things acquired and dropping or trying to sell the rest.


    And TI Media have apparently already disposed of many titles they acquired:


    My cynical suspicion is that Future would like to own a few more prestige titles, but there is no way to know if AP is one of them.
    As I observed in a previous posting when there were changes at Time Inc., I urge the AP team to watch any existing employee pension arangements very carefully.

    Update - I have just completed the 'survey', and given the correct answer for my age (55+). But I assume any new publisher will want make AP appeal to the 'yoof' market, so perhaps I should have told them I was a teenager.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
  6. Jimbo57

    Jimbo57 Well-Known Member

    Maybe not the yoof market. They don't buy printed magazines but the grey market (over 70s) js still huge and affluent and contains most of those who would describe themselves as amateur photographers. This week at our camera club we had a marvellous presentation on Street Photography by Damien Demolder, a former editor of AP. OK, the present regime has lost a bit of charisma since Damien's day but, given that AP is the only weekly photo mag in the world, there should still be the ability to carve out a very lucrative market segment if they play their cards right.
  7. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Part of the problem is advertising. I remember a post, which I cannot find, where the late Roger Hicks mentioned that the proportion of income made up from advertising, a fig that was much larger than I expected. If the pressure on advertising in mags continues due to pressure from other sources then the mag may not be viable. Fortunately AP still has several advertisers.
  8. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I recall reading AP in the mid-1970s when it was half an inch thick and had so many advertisements that sometimes much of it looked more like Exchange & Mart than a photographic magazine. But there were many more manufacturers and retailers then, and now there are only a few of each. I suspect than many of the larger retailers who continue to support AP realise that this is the best place to attract new customers to their websites: buying your first real camera and spending hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of pounds at a website of a retailer you nothing about (apart from what they say on their website) may appear risky, but buying from a retailer who regularly advertises in a reputable magazine is much safer. Personally, I would advise any 'beginner' who has no decent local retailer and hence has to buy online, to only consider retailers who regularly advertise in AP.

    Another point about advertising: if the lilkely new owners of AP suddenly attract advertisements for non-photographic stuff (cars, holidays, etc.), you can assume they are trying to convert the magazine into just another 'lifestyle' magazine by offering deals to these advertisers and then will change its content accordingly. My wife tells me that this has happened to some of her once-favourite specialist gardening magazines in recent years, so she has abandoned them.
  9. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I suspect that the number of 'affluent greys' who regularly buy printed magaznes will decline as they die off and are replaced by others who have never purchased printed magazines. The people who are not yet grey must be the ones to catch if possible, but perhaps not the 'yoof' as I said (not too seriously). Replace 'yoof' with 'middle aged' and the comment makes more sense. What I don't know is if AP's policy of trying to appeal to smartphone users will help it survive or hasten its demise because most of them like their devices so much that they will never buy a real camera. At least a bit of 'financial realism' has crept into new hardware reviews recently, and there has been more space devoted to buying secondhand stuff.

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