Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What's your FAVOURITE magazine for artists? (results)

A third of artists have subscribed to art magazines in the past but no longer do so,  while many artists now find the content they want online.  International Artist emerged as the favourite art magazine of most artists in the June Making A Mark poll. 

Subscribing to art magazines

The Poll had two parts.  In the first part I asked Do you have a subscription to a magazine for artists? and 68 people responded.  For me, this part of the poll provided the more startling result.

Interestingly it emerged that I am far from alone in my recent decision to let my journal subscriptions lapse.
  • 61% have a subscription at present to an art magazine
  • while 32% no longer have a subscription but have had one in the past
  • only 5% of those responding had never had a subscription to an art magazine
I was quite amazed by these figures.  I'd always assumed that people tend to fall into two groups - those who subscribe and those who don't - and that if you have a tendency to subscribe (as I do) then it would be a big deal to give up a subscription.

I never expected that the figure of those who have "lapsed" would be so high or that it would be about half the figure of those who continued to subscribe.  What I expected was that there would be far more artists who had never ever subscribed.

I'm wondering whether the figures are in any way connected to the rise of the Internet and our access to information online.
  • Ten years ago I would not have imagined that I could access the material online for free that I can do today. 
  • Five years ago when I started blogging I never imagined that I'd ever give up my subscriptions to art magazines (and I used to subscribe to three). 
I gave up my subscriptions because frankly the content while good was no longer looking good value for money - there was neither enough of it and it wasn't pitched at the right level.  To a certain extent it reflected my feelings about the way that art book publishing has been going - too much dumbed down and too little which told me something new.

At a time when newpapers are having to get digitally switched on in order to survive and the once mighty Times Newspapers have disappeared behind a paywall in order to try and stem their losses one can only wonder what the future holds for art magazines if they can't keep traditional subscribers!

The favourite art magazine
    right click to see a larger image

    The second part of the poll asked What's your FAVOURITE magazine for artists?  The results are as follows:
    • The most popular mazagine for artists is International Artist(18%)
    • a significant number of artists now prefer online content to art magazines (13%)
    • The top USA based magazine is The Artist's Magazine (15%)
    • The top UK based magazine is The Artist (9%)
    • Pastel Journal has a very respectable following for a niche interest (11%)
    What I find surprising is that there are so many titles and I guess the spread of votes across the different titles provides one of the answers to that.  Whether all are viable in the longer term - within the context of my comments to the first part of the poll - is anybody's guess.  

    What was particularly interesting was the percentage of artsist who said they were very happy with the content they found online.

    Maybe that's where the two polls connect?  There's fewer artists subscribing to magazines because they're finding what they want online?

    It'll be interesting to repeat this poll at some point in the future to see whether this is a trend......

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