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The end ofthe free Strad poster for subscribers?

Melvin Goldsmith

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Over the weekend, I bought my first copy of The Strad in about 6 or 7 years.  Seems to be about half the size in terms of content, and about twice the price that it used to be (okay 2x the price might be an exaggeration, but certainly an always expensive publication has become even more expensive for what looks to be significantly reduced content). 


The loss of the free posters is a poor retrograde step.  As someone pointed out earlier in this thread, reducing something that might well attract buyers is not the best way of dealing with falling sales and ever-threatening competition from the digital realm.  Even to me, a non-builder, just a (very poor) player, the posters were a significant and highly attractive feature of The Strad - they're art dammit.  I still have a framed copy of a Bergonzi violin on my wall at home.


End result, I certainly won't be subscribing as I once did, and will only buy copies of the magazine infrequently at best.  I would have considered a digital subscription if I could have easily obtained (as part of that subscription) the free posters.


Oh well.



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I would like to know how many posters were 'wanted'.


If, for example, they mailed out 1000...but only 15  people actually wanted them (and the other 985 were tossed or used to line the bottom of the bird cage)...it makes sense to discontinue them.  What a huge waste of resources otherwise!


An answer would be to permit subscription holders a sizeable discount on buying certain posters from the website. 


I like the posters.  But I specifically bought one ( of the Plowden DG - with no folds) to hang up on my wall.  The folded one that I have is filed away...as interesting as it is...I don't actually do anything with it.

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I keep hearing rumours that the Strad's for sale...


I also hear from people in a different world, that Gannett, the parent company of Newsquest is going through a major period of restructuring and cost cutting. Orpheus Publications, a subsidiary of Newsquest is a bit of an anomaly in their portfolio. Let's just say that when your office is a stone's throw from Fleet Street, you hear the gossip in the coffee houses. 

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The publishing business is in dire straits thanks to the Internet and electronic media.  :(

I'm guilty in that respect - just a digital subscriber.

That's why I only get an invitation to buy the poster.

The magazine was never able to come up with a digital solution for the posters, understandably,

due to the unmanageable copyright issues of an electronic format, I suppose, rightly?

In any case for me they are purely decorative not working drawings.



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I really got on board with The Strad for a number of years, because I thought Ms. Todes was really talented, really trying, and really reaching out, including posting and getting involved in discussions here (aside from ending up as a friend).


I don't know where things stand with the magazine, now that she has moved on.


That woman had a really clever and outrageous sense of humor, which I much appreciated, and miss, even if she couldn't flaunt it in the more formal format of the printed "The Strad" magazine. A very cool lady.

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