Thousand Club Membership

I chose to analyse the advertisement for subscriping to the magazine, located at the end of the periodical. Directly linked here. The advertisement sets the goal to obtain 1,000 subscribers, between both England and America. The italicization of the word “secure” in the sentence “A paper is financially secure when it is based on a permanent subscription-circulation” highlights an almost sense of urgency and ironic insecurity towards the future of the paper.

Using an inflation calculator, I found that the advertised price of 1 GBP for 18 months equates to $127.69 in today’s money.  This equals ~$7 a month, which isn’t bad, but seems a little steep for a 20 page magazine. My yearly Economist subscription is around $80, and those are 80+ page issues. Granted, costs of production per page were most definitely more expensive a century ago. I enjoyed comparing the language of the advertisement to subscription cards you find in today’s magazines.

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3 thoughts on “Thousand Club Membership

  1. I found this advertisement interesting because today, not many companies will be up front about their insecurity or lack of subscribers. Today, most will advertise like they already have a lot of subscribers to get people to think they too should subscribe since so many others thought it was a good decision: kind of like the bandwagon effect. An example would be every product labelled, “#1 BEST SELLING PRODUCT IN AMERICA” or something along those lines.
    An important word that popped out to me was “assistance.” Today, you don’t normally think about the well-being of the company you buy from or subscribe to, but instead of how their product will effect the well-being of yourself.

    • You’ve made a very interesting observation about the wellbeing shifting from that of the company to that of the consumer, this has been a notable change over the course of the 20th century with the advent of ecommerce and the general increase of the educated population.

      Bandwagoning is a common advertising scheme in today’s world, and to see it not present in the older texts is, in its own way, refreshing.

  2. This advertisement shows many differences to today’s subscription cards in magazines. I don’t think I’ve ever read any subscription card that advertised the ‘financial security’ of the magazine. However, the context of the magazine is important to why they’re advertising this. Two things in particular are important: 1) This is volume one issue one of this magazine. They have no return on investment so far and are trying to set up a reliable financial income. 2) This magazine promotes ideas that were new and somewhat controversial. Thus, those interested in supporting those ideas would very much so be interested in supporting that magazine. Published in 1913, women back across the pond in the USA wouldn’t be able to vote until 1919.

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