BeerAdvocate Magazine Goes Quarterly

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by Todd, Dec 27, 2017.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,024) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    When we started BeerAdvocate magazine in 2006, we strongly believed that beer deserved a leading monthly print publication, and for over a decade we have delivered uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism in print. During that same period however, we've watched the decline of traditional media formats as readers and advertisers shifted their attention to online content.

    Recognizing that we too would eventually have to alter our publishing approach, we began to archive mag content online in early 2015, and started to prepare for the inevitable changes that we'd one day be forced to make. It's a challenging time for every newspaper and magazine out there, but we're optimistic about the road ahead of us.

    Read Long and Prosper
    Although the need to change has come more quickly than anticipated, it's ultimately a positive step that ensures our continued growth, increases the quality of our published work by focusing our efforts, and allows us to explore new publishing opportunities. And despite the ascendancy of digital media, we still believe very strongly that beer deserves a leading publication in print.

    With all of that said, beginning with issue #132 (Spring 2018) the team will be transforming the mag into a quarterly publication. We'll also be bringing back some of that coffee table feel that graced BeerAdvocate during its first two years. Here are a few things to expect:
    • A larger trim size with more pages, and more high-quality art, design, and writing.
    • A focus on long-form journalism and in-depth reporting.
    US subscriptions will increase to $29.99/year and $49.99/year for International.

    More Time for Online
    Shifting to a quarterly publishing model frees up our staff and contributors to work on more timely, web-exclusive content, including quite a few educational projects that've been sitting on the back burner for far too long. Shifting to four issues annually doesn't mean we're cutting down on what we do best, it means we're repositioning ourselves to do those things even better.

    What Does This Mean for Existing Print Subscribers?
    On behalf of the entire team, I'd like to apologize for the shipping delays with issues #129 (October), #130 (November), and #131 (December). Between scheduling issues, switching print to quarterly, and a tight 2017, we dropped the ball in Q4. Here's the good news: We're bouncing back. October was taken care of last month, November is shipping as I type ASAP, and we'll be pushing December to subscribers in January soon after. We truly appreciate your patience.

    As a thanks for your continued support and as compensation for the recent delays, we'll be offering the following to existing subscribers:
    • Current subscriptions won't incur additional fees to support the new and improved format.
    • Two quarterly issues will be extended free of charge to all subscribers who were active prior to November 15, 2017. *
    • Exclusive discounts to everyone who renews before 2019. *†
    • Half price membership to our annual Supporter program, but with full benefits. *†
    * Available in 2018. † Subscription and account also linking required.

    Questions? Please refer to the FAQ.

    We're all very excited about all of this, and look forward to continuing to be your go-to resource for beer—in print and online. In the meantime, all of us here at BeerAdvocate wish you happy holidays and nothing but the best in the new year.


    Todd Alström
    Founder & Publisher
  2. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,373) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Regrettable but perhaps inevitable, a sign of the changing times. Just remind me when it's time to renew.
  3. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,551) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    Thank you for the updates! I was wondering where the magazine was the last few months ...
    Honestly Im really okay with the quarterly publication - it really does seem to make sense.
    Rebecca and Todd like this.
  4. Hoppedelic

    Hoppedelic Devotee (454) Dec 6, 2010 California
    Society Trader

    This is great news, I'll happily take quality over quantity. Good job guys, I'm looking forward to it.
    Andy311x, billhaha, FBarber and 2 others like this.
  5. gregsandiego

    gregsandiego Initiate (61) Jul 31, 2011 California

    I agree. I plan to be a lifetime member subscriber. Good luck with the new plan and just keep us updated.
    hopley, Rebecca and Todd like this.
  6. BrotherDylan

    BrotherDylan Initiate (144) May 15, 2012 California

    AWESOME! Truth be told, I don't have time to read a magazine every month and I love displaying the magazines on my coffee table. Some months, display is its primary purpose.

    I love the new idea and the new format. It solves so many problems and doesn't create new ones. Plus, I don't mind paying more money for something I would use more and enjoy more. Getting a small book four times a year for $30 bucks is a steal!
    TheBrewsky, hopley, FBarber and 2 others like this.
  7. cjbeckman

    cjbeckman Devotee (435) Jun 10, 2008 Delaware

    Shoot, you could have combined Oct, Nov and Dec too. Look forward to the new format.
    Rebecca likes this.
  8. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    You don't have an extra hour to spare each month? Come on, man.

    A $7.25 cover price is steep, and I can't think of a magazine with a similar price point for a subscription (not newsstand price), but if there is quality content that could be overlooked. The content would have to be excellent, however, to make up for the price. Not to knock the current content contributors, but the quality of the content would have to be stepped up a notch to make the reader feel that he or she is getting what they paid for.
  9. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,095) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    So how does this work? My current sub is good thru November 2018. Above stated 2 free quarterly issues. So when would I need to re-new? If I am paid for all of 2018 and 2 free items am I good till early 2019 @Todd
    Thanks for info, just trying to figure out when I would need to re-sub etc and how my current sub will play out....
  10. Todd

    Todd Founder (6,024) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Moderator Fest Crew Society

    I plan on putting together an FAQ this week, and tweaking our in-house subscription system, both of which should address questions like this.
  11. StartedwithSAM

    StartedwithSAM Devotee (455) Feb 17, 2015 Virginia

    Thank you for the update, I was becoming concerned. :grimacing:
    Samlover55, FBarber and Todd like this.
  12. brewale4me

    brewale4me Initiate (190) Apr 7, 2010 Pennsylvania

    Will we still receive the number of issue indicated on our shipping lables?
  13. signman

    signman Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Hey Guys....I love the mag and welcome the new changes. Don't actually have a coffee table but, hell, I'll go buy one. Thanks for the updates.
    PatrickCT, scotorum and Todd like this.
  14. allforbetterbeer

    allforbetterbeer Champion (828) Sep 26, 2009 Colorado

    I like this idea overall. Quality is certainly more rare in print these days than quantity. So if the quantity is sacrificed to boot quality, I am all for it.
    Todd likes this.
  15. Jeff1956

    Jeff1956 Initiate (32) Dec 22, 2016 Indiana

    Change is hard, but I think this is a positive one. I am especially jazzed about the increased focus on long format journalism. I read every issue from cover to cover so I don't need a coffee table but suddenly I have the urge to get one anyway. Keep up the straight talk and high quality.
    Todd likes this.
  16. signman

    signman Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Jeff. I don't have a coffee table either. Maybe, just maybe we could start a coffee table biz. Humm?
    Todd likes this.
  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Will they be regular, normally priced coffee tables that you can get any time or large, thick, more expensive coffee tables with a more high quality design and finish that you can only get quarterly?
    Troutbeerbum, tubeman and scotorum like this.
  18. DanielAron

    DanielAron Devotee (445) May 15, 2005 Illinois

    I've been a subscriber since the beginning and never better been disappointed. I look forward to this new model.

    Todd likes this.
  19. scotorum

    scotorum Poo-Bah (1,939) May 28, 2013 Massachusetts

    Assuming the main reason is falling subscription numbers due to fewer BAs reading print pubs, I can sympathize, since something similar happened with my photography magazine in the 1980s. After an initial satisfying flurry the first year, the number of subscriptions gradually dropped. Eventually I had no recourse but to raise the price, which caused subscriptions to fall off further, until after eight years I had to quit. Hope that is not BA's fate. Coincidence or not, I did not receive the September issue of another beer magazine I subscribe to until last week. So you may not be the only ones struggling because of internet competition.
    Squire likes this.
  20. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,095) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    OK, thank you @Todd
  21. VanBeer

    VanBeer Initiate (156) Apr 9, 2007 Indiana

    This is certainly a sad day but I hold no Ill will towards the Alström brothers or their fine staff. After drinking beer, my second love is vanning. And I've seen several vanning related pubs go by the wayside over the last 30 years. Those mags left us mostly for financial reasons. But if I had to guess, BA's issues are less financially related and more tied to a loss of interest/boredom in general, on the part of the Brothers and the beer drinking community in general.

    All things eventually run their course. I've been wondering for a couple months now how long BA would last. These days attention spans are not what they used to be. As well, people's interests change and evolve so quickly because we are exposed to so much, so fast, so often. Whatever the reason, the changes in BA are a natural evolution, just like going from news print to the glossy look. Its gotta stay fresh.

    In my own world I've been reading BA less. I used to read an issue cover to cover in two days easy. Now I'm lucky to finish one before the next one shows up.

    I rarely post here but I feel the need to express myself. I have really enjoyed BA for nearly a decade and want to say thanks. You've really helped deepen my enthusiasm and appreciation for all things beer. I will continue to subscribe and soak it in, hopefully for another ten years. Maybe the quarterly format will only serve to make me thirstier for the next issue.

    hopley likes this.
  22. Giantspace

    Giantspace Champion (802) Dec 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    I have not subscribed to a magazine for many years. The few I did are long gone as the internet changed the way business was done. I remember the anticipation of that monthly Toy Shop printed on news paper stock magazine. I would spend hours pouring through all the adds and making phone calls. The last magazine I had is still around , but its a specialty magazine that is only published for members of the club. It is a 1/4ly and the cost is pushing $40 a year. I realized the magazine was such a minor part of what my interest in the club is that I dropped my membership almost 10 years ago.

    I too like BA but not enough to pay for a magazine. I had a FREE subscription to a beer magazine a few years ago, Draft , maybe. I was interested for about the first issue and then just flipped through each issue. There was very little content I enjoyed and too many reviews and best of lists/stuff. Everything in it was available elsewhere on the net.If I stop by a local br most of them have FREE beer magazines and papers at the door.

    I enjoy coming her and the time spent will be less each month as my income drops and I have no time to read about beers I will never get to drink let alone see.I dont really review and dont need to see releases to chase down. At some point I will be gone from BA and other sites I go to. Will BA survive, I think so but it could look/work very differently. Will the magazine be around in a year? Maybe but my bet is it wont be around in three years. If the content does not get far better than what it is now I dont see it lasting too long. Maybe its me but quick hitter stories and lists dont interest me. I would much rater read more history and in depth stories. At $30 a year how many adds will be there? The last magazine I subscribed to had ZERO adds and its still around.

    Good luck to BA
    LarryV and LuskusDelph like this.
  23. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    At $7.50 per issue (PLUS ad revenue), they'd certainly better have some well-thought-out, well-written content.
    LarryV likes this.
  24. Stinkybean

    Stinkybean Aspirant (211) Mar 18, 2017 Arizona

    I’m all in and supportive of these changes, quality content is the key.
    LuskusDelph and Todd like this.
  25. Jeff1956

    Jeff1956 Initiate (32) Dec 22, 2016 Indiana

    The "other" beer mag you mentioned AAB or All About Beer, just purchased Draft and it really screwed up their delivery but I think they are back on track. I also believe that print media is changing but not dying. I intend to be a long time subscriber to BA and honestly I cannot wait until I get my next beer mag in the mail, regardless of which one. I was going to see if Signman wanted to start a Coffee Table magazine. I think this idea could have legs....
    scotorum and Todd like this.
  26. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (2,095) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    Change happens to every company, and if you don't adjust to your market it consumes you, so I totally get the adjustment. I also appreciate the efforts BA puts out to keep things fresh and new.
    Squire, Todd, Rebecca and 1 other person like this.
  27. brewnme

    brewnme Zealot (515) Feb 21, 2017 Maine

    A move in the right direction. When I first saw the price for a years subscription and then saw the great content of your magazine, I thought you guys were ripping yourselves off. So, when the Supporter Program kicked in, also at minimal cost, that was a no brainer and I became a supporter. Now with a larger publication an more intense/informative articles even though spaced out a bit, it is a win/win situation for all as the online will still be up and running. Look forward to a great future with B.A. as a subscriber and supporter.
    Rebecca and Todd like this.
  28. woodchipper

    woodchipper Meyvn (1,209) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut

    I was really wondering about my Nov. Dec. issues, especially with all the online articles coming on this sites main page. I checked my subscription status twice. As a matter of principle, I refuse to read the web versions, knowing (hoping) my hard copy is coming. It really screws me out of participating in the "article comment" threads. They're definitely going to be past their shelf-life by the time I read the articles in print.
    Witherby and Samlover55 like this.
  29. Sound_Explorer

    Sound_Explorer Poo-Bah (1,839) Dec 29, 2013 Washington

    Just renewed today actually. I was beginning to wonder about the issues but all good. I rather liked it each month but being quarterly should make them nice and hefty issues to read through. Here's to a smooth transition!
    Rebecca and Todd like this.
  30. CNoj012

    CNoj012 Meyvn (1,466) Dec 7, 2014 New York

    I appologize if I'm missing something, but you get 1/3 of the magazines for double the price? And people are happy?
  31. GregStoner

    GregStoner Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2014 Pennsylvania

    It's a great magazine, with great content. Whatever you have to do to keep it going will make your loyal subscribers happy. I'm not crazy about the price increase, but I'd rather pay a few more bucks than have no more issues of BeerAdvocate.
    Todd likes this.
  32. GregStoner

    GregStoner Initiate (0) Oct 7, 2014 Pennsylvania

    They should just revoke your subscription for being a dick head.
    PatrickCT likes this.
  33. benbduke

    benbduke Initiate (17) Jan 9, 2009 Illinois

    Understood. Times change and your readers will too. I'll continue to renew, read every issue, and enjoy the wonderful brews I read about each quarter.
    Todd likes this.
  34. dlcarst

    dlcarst Initiate (100) Aug 21, 2015 Illinois

    I have mixed feelings. I read every issue cover to cover and enjoy receiving it monthly. Hopefully the quarterly issues will be double the length so we're not getting half the content for twice the price. But the price was so cheap, particularly if one took advantage of the occasional subscription sales, that it will still be worth it. I just don't want a decrease in content. As far as online exclusive content goes, I don't really read any online articles unless they're on my favorite breweries, so chances are I'll ignore most of those. There are dozens of beer web sites and food sites that have articles on beer. The mag is what sets BA apart.
    hopley and StartedwithSAM like this.
  35. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Pretty sure you can be a dickhead and have a subscription. It's open to everyone.
  36. SLeffler27

    SLeffler27 Poo-Bah (2,310) Feb 24, 2008 New York
    Society Trader

    While this comment is a bit sharp, and too personal, it does raise a good point. The society we have built is far too frenetic, and seems to lack focus on the moment.

    Enjoying the moment is more than a luxury, it is required for us to recharge our minds, for us to process our experiences, for us to contemplate ideas. For me, beer helps to foster an environment where one can pause for these higher needs. Beer is also good at fostering a similar environment socially.

    I do think we, as human beings, will find ways to reintroduce the seemingly simple concept of pausing, because it is a need. This lack of pausing may be part of what allows us to snap at one another either joyfully or harshly. Either way, this snapping is eroding or society, and personal relationships.

    Business requires us to adjust to current conditions for survival, and this is good providing we maintain focus on the core mission. Beer Advocate seems to have this right, and so long as they do, I will enthusiastically support their mission.
    LeRose, hopley, Ozzylizard and 3 others like this.
  37. StartedwithSAM

    StartedwithSAM Devotee (455) Feb 17, 2015 Virginia

    Hear, Hear! or should it be Read, Read! (?)
  38. brewnme

    brewnme Zealot (515) Feb 21, 2017 Maine

    If I am not mistaken most negative comments are coming from those that don't have the label Subscriber by their names. Keep up the good work B.A. and hopefully the better content you are promising will be there too!
    Todd likes this.
  39. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Enlightenment is cleaning your bowl.
  40. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (886) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    And that means that those people don't read the magazine?
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