MBR – declining sales

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  • MBR – declining sales
  • large418
    Member

    I’ve been subscribing to MBR for about 12 years, and up to about 3 years ago it had around 32000 sales per month. It’s now down at 21000. Now, I don’t believe mtb ing has become less popular, so is the mag losing its way, or are there other things to read? I have to say it feels like there is less of interest in it for me, as I don’t need a 150mm short travel all mountain trail rig, but a third of its readers can’t feel the same way can they?

    What’s a break even sales number for a mag like that?

    Premier Icon johnnystorm
    Subscriber

    It’s the web innit?

    Why pay a fiver for a mag comprising 50% advertising when you can go on the web and learn from experts there. 😉

    No need to wait a month for what was at Interbike, see it live on twitter/facebook/blog/etc.

    dirtyrider
    Member

    same with route maps, no point now with garmin/gpx

    letters page? probably write it themselves

    free gift – tat

    demise of WH Smiths/in a bag at the supermarket no one casually picking up reading and buying

    still sponsored by Specialized?

    Brant left

    Allen keys in issue 1 were alright

    dannyh
    Member

    Yes, I often toy with the idea of canceling my subs to MBR. Too much in the pocket of the industry, goes through phases of self-indulgence and only about half of the format changes work. But I don’t, because I like something to read over my cereal in the morning and when on the khazi.

    Sometimes only hard copy will do.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    I’m one of those 11000.
    renewal offer was “not bad”, but went to renew online and it was like £120 for overseas, and no apparent way to renew at the rate offered in the reminder.
    sod that.
    much much cheaper to cancel, and re-sub.
    even cheaper still to cancel, and not resub.
    plus they’re one of the culprits where 26 has been outdated and obsolete since before 650b was actually available in the stores.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Now, I don’t believe mtb ing has become less popular

    it probably has

    Why pay a fiver for a mag comprising 50% advertising when you can go on the web and learn from experts there.

    Its not so much that magazines cost money its simply that the casual reading we used to do is now done on a laptop I doubt the 11,000 readers MBR have lost are buying something else instead, they’ve just stopped buying any magazines. On the occasions I buy magazines I don’t really read them (I’ve got a whole bunch or Roleurs and Privateers which are still in the unopened envelopes they arrived in), let alone read them more than once, where as 10 years ago I’d keep magazines and read and re-read them. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but – there aren’t that many places around to buy magazines from these days either so all magazines and printed media are having to look at how the address themselves to a future without print.

    I’m probably gonna cancel my sub. I hardly look at it, too many bike tests for me (as I’m not in the market for the latest steed, my 26″ wheeled 5 is still a better bike than I’ll ever be a rider) A lot of adverts & (like Singletrack) a lot of ‘waffle’. I guess after 24 years of riding I just like to get out & ride, not read.

    rentachimp
    Member

    I started with MBR and MBUK, but now subscribe to Dirt and Singletrack. Possibly only stick with the latter as it looks so nice.

    JCL
    Member

    Still the best bike tests in MBR IMO.

    large418
    Member

    Yes, I am not a fan of the waffle pages where a writer pontificates about his life. And the constant 750mm bars are narrow, 150mm travel is a minimum for a trail centre, enduros are fantastic blurb. Not sure what I do want from a mag except maybe a bit of news from the big pro races and list of races / events over the next few months.

    I keep all the routes but have never actually done any. Bit of a waste of a fiver I guess……

    mikewsmith
    Member

    Now, I don’t believe mtb ing has become less popular

    it probably has[/quote]
    In what time frame? Certainly over the last 10 years mountain biking has seen a big growth, the advent of the Trail Centre and lighter more fun longer travel bikes, the opening up of heaps of easy to get to foreign riding destinations. The entry to the sport is much easier and I know lot more new bikers these days. There may have been a slight decline or a big increase in road riding in the last couple of years but overall I’d say it’s up.

    Like most sports mags, you quickly hit the limit of new things to say. Desperate test items – the top 50 Allen keys you must have – are a give away.

    How golf mags survive I have no idea……

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    I’m curious to know what happened to that Kitchener bloke. He was in Trail mag, then editor of MBR and suddenly disappeared from MBR about 7 years ago.

    jimster01
    Member

    What teamhurtmore said, they hit a limit of what they can say.

    See this month’s workshop feature is how to bleed avid brakes again.

    Rorschach
    Member

    I don’t believe mtb ing has become less popular

    You’re wrong.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    plus they’re one of the culprits where 26 has been outdated and obsolete since before 650b was actually available in the stores.

    They were right though

    Mtb is less popular, road is more popular, be interesting to see if cycle sport mag etc has gained more buyers

    Premier Icon benpinnick
    Subscriber

    MTBing is more popular not less. Numbers of participants (in the UK at least) are climbing. Road got away from us for a while, but MTB is catching up fast according to industry numbers from the last 12 months. MTB sales are up by more than road apparently.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    Allen keys in issue 1 were alright

    Issue one was cover mounted video and cover price was £1.

    I brought it religiously around ten years ago but like all the bike mags I stopped buying them because they are basically on a loop every year. For the majority of the mags it’s all about the bike and kit but in the real world MTBing is more about the fittness and how big your bollox are. If you have balls of steel and a good set of lungs it doesn’t matter what wheel size you are riding.

    Most of us have a live interactive magazine in our hands in the form of a smart phone.

    You can’t wipe your ass with an iPod/tablet though when you run out of bog roll. MBR/MBUK does have its advantages!! 🙂

    Premier Icon FOG
    Subscriber

    Too shiny, not absorbent enough!
    I bought this months issue because I haven’t bought one in ages and it was exactly the same as last one I read which is I suppose inevitable . I wonder if I only buy ST out of sentiment.

    Cancelled my subs over a year ago but it still arrives regular as clockwork. Got bored with the hyperbole and utter bilge written about what you had to have to ride certain places. I used to read the mags for the sense of adventure and inspiration, when they became self absorbed I stopped. I do buy ST off the shelf most months as it’s a nice unwind on the train to and from Big Town.

    Premier Icon mcnultycop
    Subscriber

    I get the magazines when they have a subs gift I want, and will then get that mag for 12 months. I may occasionally pick one up in the supermarket or of I’m working away so I’ve got so etching to read whilst eating (so I don’t gave to make eye contact with anyone in the hotel restaurant).

    Otherwise, I just read what I need on the internet.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I stopped buying ALL cycling magazines several years ago…. Why? Lack of variety mostly. They only contain about 4 types of artcice – Tests, interviews, ‘we went there and rode that’ and fitness. The problem with cycling is that it lacks depth, and the writers lack imagination to get to the depth it does have. There’s no real journalism at all, it’s all spoon fed to them.
    The only mag I subscribe to is Bike, a motorcycle magazine, which I’ve been buying 15 years now. It absolutely wipes the floor with any cycling magazine because the subject is more varied, and there’s actxully something to write about.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    I find their reviews irritating. Whinging about the length of stem or width of bars – two of the most personal items of bike fit after the saddle that you can get. And also two of the easiest and most common upgrades people buy.

    They often sound out of touch and spoilt by their constant supply of new bikes and fancy kit.

    And do you need to even pick up the magazine to know that the test was won by Specialized or a bike like a Specialized – a Whyte.

    If you read a Singletrack review of a bike it seems to talk more about how it rides and feels and what it can do than whether X Y or Z is better than bike B C or D. While MBR waffles on about how disappointingly narrow a 740mm bar is.

    And the light test that didn’t include a £16 XML or £23 Solarstorm X20 or the new XT40 Solarstorm for £32 and yet was won by a £399.99 Light and Motion. No not out of touch with their audience at all – you only have to look at the light thread on here. Plenty of people mentioning quality lights but most folks are buying the cheap Chinese lights. But then they don’t pay for advertising…

    I know this because for the first time in a year I bought a copy this month and its wound me up a treat!

    5thElefant
    Member

    All magazines regardless of subject are in decline. Why anyone would buy one in the age of the internet and tablets is a mystery to me.

    DickBarton
    Member

    The photography tends to be rather nice though…never read any bike mags, they don’t cover what I want to read about (but I’m not sure what I want to read about)…however, the photos in MBR do seem to be good ‘uns.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    The print industry is going through the same seismic process as the music industry already has. Why pay for content when you can get it free online?

    If you look at Singletrack (yes… There’s a magazine), they’ve reacted pretty imaginatively, certainly boldly, by changing the model, going for quality, and a subscription base. And good luck to them!

    The big printing houses are reacting in the same complacent way as HMV and the big box music shops did. By burying their heads in the sand, and hoping something will come up, and this horrid internet thing will go away.

    The end result will be exactly the same.

    dunmail
    Member

    tomaso:

    Agree with you regarding the light test, quote: “We’ve picked six bar lights and six helmet lights in various price categories for this test”. So what price categories are those then? £125 – £400 for the bar lights and £70 – £270 for the helmet models, sounds like expensive and very expensive to me. C and B Seen have a full page advert in the back of the magazine.

    The route cards used to be interesting but after a while you see the same routes but called a different name so there’s less incentive to buy the mag for ideas as to where to go.

    kristoff
    Member

    I used to alway buy MBR, in the last year or so i only buy it on occasion as said so much of it is on a cycle, the workshop articles, the riding tips and even a large portion of the route maps are just slightly altered versions of old routes.

    The only magazine that appeals to me now is singletrack, I love the adventure articles and the whole get away from it all aspect. It is the only magazine I get and will happily read every article. Some may not be 100% to my interest but I can certainly relate to them all.

    Kuco
    Member

    I started with MBUK from the first issue for a few years then tried others, favourite mag of all time for me was MTB pro in the mid nineties.

    Wasn’t going to renew my Singletrack subscription and just have the digital but forgot I have it on auto renew, still it gives me something to read at work and on the shitter.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    I don’t buy MTB mags any more and only subscribe to Singletrack as a thank you for this site.
    There is only so much you can say about a push bike and they’ve all turned so similar.
    I stopped buying motorbike mags when it all became which 600 super sport is 1 second quicker than the other ones.
    I now buy Classic bike and classic guide.They talk about things I understand and can relate to.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I started with MBUK from the first issue for a few years then tried others, favourite mag of all time for me was MTB pro in the mid nineties.

    Same for me. 🙂

    I read MBR for a while, it started out well but then the same old rewrites, re-hashed route guides (usually the wrong way round…) and a constant sneering need to preach to the readers telling them they *needed* a 6″ travel FS to ride anywhere.
    I remember reading an almost incomprehensible article about why they’d suddenly decided to measure bike sizing using downtube length too – WTF was that all about?!

    MBR and What MTB are beholden to large publishing companies who will often keep loss-leading mags going for a while as advertising for their big-selling publications. But it also means it’s very hard to change direction whereas independents like Singletrack usually have a lot more freedom to change direction/move into new markets quite quickly.

    All magazines regardless of subject are in decline. Why anyone would buy one in the age of the internet and tablets is a mystery to me.

    Cos sometimes it’s nice to read something that’s not on a screen, have it to refer back to simply by lifting it off a bookshelf. #luddite

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’m very dubious that the concept of the magazine is still valid, regardless of medium. Nobody listens to albums anymore. Many don’t watch live TV. The whole packaged selection of articles is something from another time.

    Bustaspoke
    Member

    Years ago I read MBR but I always thought it was a glorified sales brochure.
    The only mountainbike mag I buy is Singletrack,mainly for the adventure & getting off the beaten track features.
    I also ride motorbikes but as I’ve no intention of buying the latest sports projectile or ‘Adventure Bike’ the only bike mags I buy are Classic Bike & Classic Racer.

    isto
    Member

    Nobody listens to albums anymore

    I would disagree, people do still listen to albums there are just many more ways to acquire them. The format itself is still popular.

    As for mtb magazines the only time I would buy one is before travelling or if there is a specific review that I am interested in.

    I’m curious to know what happened to that Kitchener bloke. He was in Trail mag, then editor of MBR and suddenly disappeared from MBR about 7 years ago.

    I remember reading a bizarre ‘Editor’s intro’ where he basically had a mid-life crisis and said something along the lines of “All my friends got proper/boring jobs and earn much more money than me and can afford houses and things whereas I get paid f-all to work in an office in Croydon but I’m happy really because I get to ride my bike”.

    He didn’t sound like he’d really managed to convince himself so I suspect he left to do something different.

    Premier Icon brant
    Subscriber

    Editor of London Cyclist magazine – http://lcc.org.uk/pages/staff

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Haha, editing a magazine is much more about the editing process than the subject.

    He’s probably running Practical Needlework or similar.

    PrinceJohn
    Member

    MBR is an awful magazine, the reviews often contradict themselves, for instance praising something on one bike and slagging it off on another bike.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 94 total)

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