Should Stereophile charge for online access to all of its magazine content? Why or why not? How would you handle supporting a more complete website?

Reader "Bob" says that he'd be very happy to pay for access to a complete Web-based version of <I>Stereophile</I>, and suspects other readers would too. Do you agree that this is a good idea?

Should <I>Stereophile</I> charge for online access to all of its magazine content? Why or why not? How would you handle supporting a more complete website?
I agree with Bob; here's why:
20% (53 votes)
I have a better idea:
42% (110 votes)
The paper magazine is all I need.
32% (84 votes)
Don't care.
5% (12 votes)
Total votes: 259

Art's picture

I would include full access to a full web-based version of Stereophile to compliment subsribers to the magazine.This way you get more advertising online and make your magazine more convienient for your readers who prefer to peruse articles over the computer.

Bob White's picture

I think your website should be free, dispensing as much information to the uninformed as possible. With all the threads I see about hi-end contracting, Stereophile having and promoting a free website with accurate infomation would be a god send to many who crave information. Keep it free, keep it loud and keep us all informed.

Aaron Trocano's picture

Generally, "information wants to be free." It sounds good in practice (we're all cheapskates), but can't float a company. But it should AT LEAST be free for magazine SUBSCRIBERS, like me. What you guys do with non-subscribers is up to you . . . but information does want to be free.

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

Look, I'm not paying. I read the paper and that's it. Oh, I'd like to read your review of the KeveK ES-6 (mostly because I enjoy my ES-8s), but I'm not shelling out any more money on the Net. I'd rather read paper, and frankly, I'd rather have the money for another CD.

Richard Rod's picture

If you really need it!

Kevin Wood's picture

Don't charge for it. There are a number of free websites that people can turn to for good information if they had to pay here. Stay competitive, stay free.

free spirit's picture

free access!

Art Shapiro's picture

How 'bout doing it like the NY Times: some reasonable amount of content free for everyone, while for an extra cost, *or free to current subscribers*, additional value is accessible.

lord_coz's picture

i would use both, as i do now.

T.  Hastings's picture

Since I don't have a Powerbook it would be difficult to try to read the current issue while listening to my system. I usually tear open each issue, cue up an LP and sit back and enjoy. Besides, reading a computer screen hurts my eyes.

Carlos Villarreal's picture

You guys should charge the advertisers of the magazine. That will definetly increase their sales.

Brett Kaplan's picture

Perhaps this enhancement would be better: Reward long-time subscribers with total access while offering newer users various access options at appropriately adjusted come-on rates.

Dwayne Medford's picture

Don't fix what isn'tbroken, I subscribeto the paper magazine in part because I like to have the back issues around. A catostrophic fire is much less likely than the blue screen of death or a computer virus.

Matt H.'s picture

This is the web. Only porn sites charge for content. Make it available for free, and make your money from advertisers. At least for subscribers, IMHO, it is the only way. I am constantly frustrated that I can't search back issues online (I was trying to find Bob Harley's first article on jitter from like '94 a few weeks ago, and I had no idea which issue to look in - I gave up before I found it).

Mike's picture

It's just not the same taking your laptop into the bathroom

ChrisN's picture

I am happy to have something that I can share with my friends who come by. My current copy is always on display.

Simon Ng's picture

While the idea theorectically has merit, almost every attempt to have subscription based on-line access has failed (with the exception of adult sites). The truth is, people like to read magazines in paper form. If it's on the net, most think it should be free; and a paper magazine is easier on the eyes, more convenient and feels like it's worth money. But how about this: subscription to the magazine gives immediate access to each issue's contents on-line. For those of us not in the US, the issues are often several months late, so this would be a great fix while we wait with baited breath. And we'd still get the nice paperback to store on the shelf and return to in years to come.

BC's picture

I guess I am soured on the whole Stereophile scene. Lots of too high end stuff, no good tech articles, I snore almost as loud on this as I do on TV. I work in the high end audio/video business and just can't see paying more than you already charge for a magazine that is shrinking in serious content - watch ou tthat you don't go the way of Audio. I dropped my subscription this year after many good years, tapering to not what I'm looking for in the last couple; not because of the cost, but because of the lack of content.

David Lee, Corvallis OR's picture

Old selected reviews and articles could be offered free of charge. Say six months or older, and a menu of charges for current material up to full cover price for complete magazine.

Anonymous's picture

good delivery time, lower costs for us

Robert's picture

Don't know about better, just another idea. Instead of receiving a physical paper copy of the magazine, I would like the option of having my annual subscription allow me unlimited, and for all time, online access to those 12 issues. Alternatively, allow me to download complete electronic copies of those 12 issues.

Mike Rivera's picture

I like the hard copy of the magazine so I can read it away from my computer. I do feel subscribers should have complete Web access to all back issues. You would get new subscriptions just from this offer, and we newer audio lovers would have access to issues published before we were part of the "family."

vizzuti's picture

Because i'll pay the same price than american readers witch is far less than i actually do not

Scott Higgins's picture

Would like to see more "older" reviews in archives and less emphasis on current reviews.

Stephen Curling's picture

Although making an online copy of Stereophile wold probably kill magazine sales, if people could vote for which selected reviews could be published online would be nice.

Beken's picture

I think if you're a Stereophile subscriber, you should have access to all the content of the website including articles from back-issues. If not, then the website can be used as a marketing tool. In the end, I think I still want my paper magazine but like the website for reference. By the ways, I haven't been able to find an index of all articles ever written in Stereophile. I have some rather old equipment and would like to find which issue some of it (if ever) was reviewed in. A web-based search facility would be ideal.'s picture

The model for sucessfull web sites is like the razor - give away the razor and sell the blades. In this case the blades are ads that have a far greater market value if the site gets more page views because the content is free.

Anonymous's picture

Large amounts of text to read on the tube are very fatiguing!

PaulN's picture

I would love to have access all of Stereophile's archives by the article. For the EMAP investment to make it available (labor intensive and expensive, I know) the payoff would certainly recoup and then turn profitable fairly quickly. I once ordered a back issue for a review. Then 6 months later, I threw it away. In fact I throw them all away after a year now. With downloadable articles, I can revisit equipment or feature articles occasionally without accumulating a pile of ragged magazines. I am happy to pay a users fee for this privilege, which is already available for thousands of other magazines through the Uncover service. Stereophile, is unfortunately not one of the available titles. Change this, by offering the service yourself.

Rob's picture

Make it free online. Make the advertisers pay.. oh, and the companies that want good reviews can pay too!