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

Adam, N.Y.C.'s picture

The paper magazine is all I need; but I do enjoy occasionally checking you guys out online for the Votes, News, and the Archives. If you were to go ahead and charge for online access it would have to be very minimal and your site would have to offer more—like greatly expanding your Archives section to include many years' worth of equipment reviews (for those of us interested in used or non-obsolete equipment), as well as interviews and music reviews. Otherwise, I wouldn't be interested. Maybe you could include it in the subscription price of the paper magazine. Thanks.

Dick Gentry's picture

I let my subscription lapse because I got off the negative wheel of kharma that is your review of your lifeblood. Now I can just enjoy what I've bought since: Linn Ikemi for home & an office system of Linn Classic/Ruark Epilogue R/Sound Organization stands without worrying what you think or whether I should put dimes, tennis balls or Mpingo discs under, over or in the next room from the system. HA! Charge for the site? HA! HA! I just won't come here, either. The aidio press is, by nature, most like cousins engaged in a circle jerk. Give it up!

Anonymous's picture

I'm pretty happy with the paper version. There are magazines that I read and I enjoy being able to read on-line also. Would I pay for on-line access (to sterophile or any of the others)? NO!

Bill Tuggle's picture

I think that Web access should be free for subscribers of the paper magazine. It would (should) be easier to search for reviews and articles. I would not pay additional because: 1) there is plenty of free info on the Web, and 2) I subscribe to the paper copy.

Edmund Morries's picture

Allow subscribers to have access to full web sire contents

Tom L.'s picture

I can search for all past & present articles on music and equipment. I do not have to find room to store all issues.

Nicholas Fulford's picture

I like this site very much as it is, but would like SP to consider archiving older print articles (say, a year or so back). Why? Because, print has a shelf-life, gets thrown out or eaten by the dog, and so on. By doing that, SP would also bring more viewers to the site, with the concurrent benefits that come with that. SP could also consider burning a CD and sending it out to subscribers once a year with all the last year's SP on it, either as an incentive to subscribe or as an optional add-on to the subscription cost. Note: If you already create an archived CD for subscribers, I am unaware of it, and would like to know more about it.

KDO's picture

I agree, but you should not charge more than the printed media, either in subscription form (a years worth of access) or on a single issue basis. Obviously most of us would go with the years subscription. If you were to try and charge more than the paper subscription, I really don't think you would have much acceptence.'s picture

Monitors suck. Ink on paper is lovely.

Michael Porter's picture

People who subscribe to stereophile should get free access to the web site. I can't keep many back issues so it would be great to Have issues available through the web site or CD ROM!

Leonid S.  Knyshov's picture

Keep current content free, but be prepared that a full-scale website like the one you are proposing will not be enough with just magazine content. Something extra on top? Yes, the web model will work for you with me. I don't have a single print issue of "The Absolute Sound", but I've read quite a few of them. I don't have time to read magazines offline, I read most of the information exclusively online if I can't get it in print. Full search engine, full access to back issues. If you do that, you'll have me spend quite a bit of time here ;-)

Steve Wilson's picture

It's real simple, guys: Those who pay and are monthly subscribers should have access to not only current issues, but all past issues. Raise the rate if you feel the need. But why should some dumb-ass with an Internet connection have access to all the information you guys put together? You either pay or you don't. It's not like your clientele's cutting coupons.

J.M.'s picture

Only do it like some of the PC game mags, where you pay extra for the sub w/the demo CD; that is, for an additional price to the sub, your readers can access, ideally, a full history of articles. Or at least a price break on the combo. I do want the paper mag as well as the ability to look things up online.

Archit Shah's picture

make it free.

Gord's picture

I would have no problem paying for the magazine on the newsstand or a subscription in a web based format. My personal preference would be web based as I often have difficulty finding the magazine at local retailers. It is my opinion that an archive of all your past equipment reviews should be available at no charge as a service to your readers as I have found this a valuable tool when purchasing upgrade equipment ( which is always ).. in search of my ultimate sound.

Mark Lamb's picture

Have access with all active paper subscriptions.

Daitre,Dana's picture

My magazine arrives so LATE every month,it would be refreshing to see a copy on time for once!!

Russell Wheatley's picture

Have most of the stuff available for free. I enjoyed reading about the $75k turntable so much I bought the August issue.

t.schielke's picture

makes it easier to browse and to print articles for reference file

John, Southern CA's picture

How about free to us long-time mag subscribers!?

R.  Fauska, Colgate WI's picture

The operative word is pay. If you mean a "fair" price, then yes. I would like the option for an emag or paper, and both.

Robert Leter's picture

The paper version is awfully expensive here in Europe and even difficult to find.

Matt's picture

Current subscribers should be able to have access; all others would be a monthly fee. That way, subscribers can have access to the information that they want, while Stereophile still can generate revenue through the magazine. The only catch is that there has to be the entire collection of articles from day one (or some suitable starting point) so that the website can be a reliable and respectable source of information.

Peter's picture

Even if you could have free access to all of the magazine's content, the people who buy the magazine now would still go on buying it.

jp leger's picture

I wouldn't say I have a better idea but... I like reading the paper magazine. People will pay for immediate information to back a buying decision. I could see your charging for equipment reviews and the recommended products list, on line, with delivery via PDF. And possibly the music reviews, though honestly, if I have to pay much for the music review, I will just buy the CD. This would be similar to buying financial stock reports.

Jeff Loney's picture

My wife has been bugging me to get rid of all of my "just-in-case" back issues of Stereophile. If I had online access, you'd make her a happy woman!

Sean Morrissey's picture

1) either offer a complete online (only) subscription or 2) give complete access to paper magazine subscribers. The Web is a geat resource and terrific for looking up old articles, etc., but I will always prefer the paper magazine for reading purposes.

Ross McElheny's picture

Content on the Web is the only thing that is worth anything. Granted, paying for content on the Web is usually met with a lot of resistance. But if the content is perceived to have enough value, then some people will pay. In order for the pay model to work, though, the pay content should be balanced with free content. Perhaps a "light" version for free and an in-depth version for pay?

Aaron B.'s picture

This is America, the greatest country in the world. I, as a businessman, don't believe in "freebies" or "handouts." If individuals wish to have access to accurate and quality information that they are then able to utilize in order to better themselves or their lives, let capitalism dictate--MAKE THEM PAY FOR IT!!

bruce gelman's picture

try respect for the research intensive nature of this hobby and not following the money grubbing trend of charging for every electron passed between you and I.Loyal readers is reward enough,isn't it?