ARRL Loses Potential Members and Considerable Revenue

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by NA4DX, Apr 25, 2019.

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  1. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is a matter of scale. A digital representation of a magazine plus the print version still have a limited number of ad slots and limits at total subscriber count. An ad on Google's advertising platform has the potential of all Google properties, all web properties that use Google's ad network with the vast number of internet users.

    The per impression rate for these networks is quite small, but they definitely make it up in volume.
  2. KB7QPS

    KB7QPS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Out of curiosity, what ARRL membership benefit would be worth $29/year to you if you didn't receive QST?

    I really can't think of many membership benefits of being an ARRL member, except for receiving QST.
  3. N8OHU

    N8OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    He doesn't want the PRINT version of QST, because he can read the digital version online.
  4. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm guessing it may involve economics of scale: Just to toss out phantom numbers to prove a point...

    Say that the ARRL pays $1M each month to print 500,000 magazines so it costs them $2/copy. They offer a less expensive digital subscription of which 200,000 members change from print to digital. Now that means only 300,000 magazines need to be printed. With the lower count, the printer says, "Sorry, you don't get the price break at $2/copy for 500K copies; the next lower bracket is $3/copy for 250K copies and $4/copy for 50K copies." The point is that it might cost the ARRL more per issue for the lower count, costing them more money which in turn reduces addition to losing profit from those switching to digital-only (unless the profit amount is equal to what it would've been if the members had retained their printed magazine membership.)
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    N2EY, KJ4VTH, W3MMM and 1 other person like this.
  5. KA4DPO

    KA4DPO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Look at the big picture. The ARRL caters to a niche group, amateur radio operators. So just like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, there are a lot of ads scattered through the pages of QST. Do you think Yaesu, Kenwood, or Icom pay $49.00 for a full page ad? Advertisements equal income.

    QST makes money on advertising, that is why the ARRL is always hatching proposals like giving techs HF phone, or EMCOM, these are all designed to increase membership.

    The more members they have, the more people those advertisements reach, and the more they can charge for advertising.

    They need membership to survive and they will push whatever scheme, no matter how far fetched, if they think will increase membership and consequently, revenue.

    So I pay my $49.00 and just glance at the QST once in a while, I haven't even read the latest one. QST doesn't really have much of anything I want anymore since nearly all of the technical stuff is aimed at my feet. I just maintain the membership because in spite of the stupid proposals, they do keep a presence in Washington that provides some measure of protection for the hobby. They do some good at least.
    KC6KNL and K8BZ like this.
  6. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    "OK, Thank you for your post. At the present there are no immediate plans to lower my offer for digital QST only. I will quote your post in my reply on this thread."

    Seriously though - I agree with you though I think the ARRL is possibly in a place where dropping the paper mailing costs them more than to offer you an alternative. Kind of like how free newspapers have to print a bunch to make them that mailing count is the measure of their ad dollars. So going to $29.99 or even $48.50 in exchange for not sending you QST isn't appealing at all them.

    And while I agree with you, let's be careful what we wish for. The real profit makers with online reading content are the "click bait" articles. Could you imagine having to get through an ad between each paragraph in a QST article and 20+ clicks to read the entire article? The shortfall you propose has to be made up somehow.
    K4AGO, KU4X and N2EY like this.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you emailed the Directors and Vice Directors? They're the ones who could effect such a change.

    And consider this:

    You suggest a $20 reduction in dues. Does QST really cost $1.67 per issue to print and mail?
  8. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you were legally blind, you could be a member without the printed QST mag, but all other benefits, for $10 a year.
  9. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, $32M in assets and $1.8M in cash. Most of those assets are their infrastructure. Financially, they are in good shape to survive going forward. Though, to grow going forward and to have more of an impact on amateur radio. They need to also grown their revenue streams or create new one. Definitely not shrink the existing revenue streams.

    Shrinking the revenue streams just to allow cheaper membership would be a fire-able offence for their leadership.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
    KM4FVI and WU8Y like this.
  10. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This option should of course be weighed against the numerous disadvantages that come with blindness; a carefully considered decision is encouraged.

    N7UJU, N2EY, K7JEM and 2 others like this.

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