Welcome to issue #37 of Tape Op.
This is the first intro I've written for the mag. This issue of Tape Op coincides with the AES show in New York City where Larry, Andy, Laura and I will be hanging out with other audio geeks preaching the gospel of Tape Op. This marks a milestone of sorts. Six years ago I was at the AES show in San Francisco passing out copies of Tape Op #10, a black and white zine with almost no advertising in it to any one who would look at it. I thought it was the coolest audio mag I'd ever seen, but almost nobody at the show seemed interested. Nonetheless, I asked Larry if I could help him broaden Tape Op's distribution because I thought more people should see the mag than the 200 or so subscribers at the time.
Now, six years later, we're tied with our friends at EQ as the third largest (in circulation) recording magazine in the world! And, of the 40,000 copies of Tape Op that we print, over 35,000 of them go out to subscribers. This brings me to the reason why I'm writing this intro and not Larry.
We recently took some criticism on the Internet and via emails for our efforts to renew our subscribers. First, let me explain that while I love magazines (as opposed to computer screens) I'd rather kill as few trees as possible. I'd also rather not pay the post office to deliver magazines to people who've moved or maybe just don't care about getting the magazine any longer. Secondly, although I think this should be obvious, Tape Op is an advertiser-supported publication. We send the magazine to you for free and our advertisers pay for this. The more ads there are, the more pages of editorial we can print. This is why we ask you to support our advertisers as they're the ones who make this all possible. This is how we choose to run our business. I feel that this allows us to put the magazine into as many people's hands as possible.
Here's why this works: Our advertisers want you to know about the products they make. Based on what we know about you, they think you'll be interested in what they're offering. Maybe you are and maybe you aren't. But, they're paying for you to get the magazine so they get to put ads in the magazine that they hope you'll look at. As part of our recent renewal efforts, we asked people for their email address. We were also up front about the fact that we have, and plan to in the future, rented our mailing list to some of our advertisers. Some people were upset by this. I'm not here to apologize for the way we run our business. I think we're on track in bringing a cool mag to a diverse and large group of people. I suppose we could have been less up front about our intentions, but we wanted to be honest about it. Whoever said, "You can't please all the people all the time," was right and I just don't know any other way to live my life or run a business.
So, for those of you who stuck with us, thanks for trusting us not to send you email spam from online mortgage brokers. We're excited about being able to communicate with you all via email and you can expect a mass communication from us soon, as well as facilitating future subscription renewals via email. You can expect our advertisers may want to communicate with you this way as well. Personally, I'm interested in what most of our advertisers are doing anyway, but let's just say for the sake of argument that they're all evil and you have no interest in what they have to say. Don't look at their ads. Delete their emails without reading them. That's the way it works. Feel free to send me an email. I may not have the time to respond, but I promise I'll at least read it before I delete it.
Your faithful publisher, John Baccigaluppi