Absolute Multimedia Buys Hi-Fi Plus

In the December 2005 issue of the UK magazine Hi-Fi Plus, editor Roy Gregory announces that Absolute Multimedia, Inc., publisher of The Absolute Sound and The Perfect Vision magazines, has purchased the British audio journal.

Gregory states, "Hi-Fi Plus...will remain unchanged, unchanged that is apart from a few developments to content which we've been itching to make. ...With AMI's financial muscle behind us we'll finally be able to complete plans that have been in the pending tray for far too long. We'll also be able to make greater inroads into the US market and increase our UK circulation, making Plus easier to find and ultimately increasingly frequent in publication."

This is the part of a "business" article where we're expected to offer analysis, but we have no clue about what this means. Stereophile enjoys some success in the UK market, so we're well aware of how different the US and UK magazine terrains remain. It doesn't seem intuitive to us to expect to grow Plus's domestic UK market share without changing the magazine substantially—and we find it equally unlikely that its US presence will grow much without significant changes in its product coverage. We also don't see how Plus and The Absolute Sound can co-exist without one of them either moving upmarket or downmarket.