Wednesday 3 July 2013

It is a tough business

News that 'Australasian Chess' will cease publishing at the end of this year is sad, although not unexpected. The magazine has been running since 2003, but a decline in subscribers has made it uneconomical to continue. Brian Jones has put in a big effort over the last decade in producing a quality chess magazine, but he can hardly be blamed for bowing to economic reality.
As with a lot of print media, the challenge posed by newer methods of content delivery has caused difficulties, as a lot of news (chess or otherwise) can be found online. Of course the flipside to this is that it also cheaper to produce content, although how you 'monetize' this is still a big question for content providers. As chess has a fairly small market (in Australia certainly), relying on online advertising revenue probably does not work.
Of course one option is to produce and distribute free content. However this reminds me of an old computer saying 'Linux is only free, if your time has no value'. Essentially, to produce a quality product does take time, time that is often taken up by other activities.
So for now Australia Chess (OTB at least) will be without a print magazine. Of course the CCLA still produces their quarterly publication (of which I am the editor), but as it deals with a different market, I can hardly see a rush of subscribers heading our way.

(Disclaimer: I am a paid contributor to Australasian Chess)

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