Madvertzines: Ads vs Content

I don’t read dead-tree newspapers or magazines very often, but I do seem to have a subscription to the dead tree version of Wired, which reliably arrives in my work mail dip once per month.

I don’t remember subscribing (I believe it was a gift) and I don’t see a price on the front cover. Digging around on the Wired site, I see US residents can get a 12 month subscription for as little as $10, while an international subscription would be $40 for Canada or $70 for the rest of the world. I’m surprised it’s so expensive, given the number of pages given over to adverts.

In November 2007’s edition (issue 15.11), of the first 42 pages, 31 pages were advertisements. In fact, out of all 274 pages of the magazine, there were 148 pages of adverts. That’s 55% of the available space. And that generously excludes sections like this, this, this or this, each of which is either a product comparison or review.

A quick flick through September’s edition of Wired, shows that 101 out of 198 pages, or 51%, were advertisements. Slightly better, but still more than half. (October’s seems to be at work. I’ll add the count for that one when I next see it, unless someone beats me to it). I can’t help wondering what I’d need to pay for that 49% of the magazine if it had not been subsidised by adverts.

Early morning...

[Photo credit: Louise LeGresley]

Mentioning this to my wife, she tells me I should take a look at women’s magazines some time (particularly fashion magazines like Vogue, which she describes as “sickeningly what-have-I-spent-my-money-on ridiculous”). Well, I think I will.

What are the best, and the worst, magazines for advert:content ratios? Do you have any magazines nearby for which you’d like to share page counts and cover price?

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