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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Of Print, Paper and Pixels

Publisher's View May 2014

By Randy Jones, Publisher

Some of you may have heard of this concept that is commonly being referred to as the Digital Revolution. I believe it has something to do with that whole Inter-Web thing everybody’s also been talking about. And I imagine that as you read these words, many of you are expecting a sales pitch about how much better digital magazines are than print, how much more quickly you can receive your monthly issues and how we can now offer you search capabilities along with video and audio files into your tired old hum-drum magazine reading experience.

But while all of those things happen to be true, some of us – myself included – grew up on paper and ink, and we aren’t quite ready to relegate traditional print magazines to the trash bins of our lives just yet.

There is a zen-like quality to the experience of opening our mailbox to find the latest issue of our favorite magazine waiting for us there. And whether we take it to our desk and immediately read it, or throw it into our bag to read at home later, we always know where it is and we don’t forget about it as the other demands of our inbox start piling up to the point they can no longer be ignored. Even if we do get interrupted while reading our favorite print/paper publication, the magazine itself serves as a giant 8x11 reminder note, calling us to pick back up wherever we left off.

But the lure of the digital format was far too much for big publishing companies to ignore. It minimizes all of the most significant expenses of producing a magazine – print, paper and postage. So while magazines such as ours will still gladly send a free digital version to qualified industry professionals anywhere in the world, getting the free printed magazine you received for years sometimes became next to impossible, and we were simply not set up to handle paid subscriptions.

While our company continues to lead with the products and services we now deliver to helicopter industry professionals online, this note is actually about letting you know that we also understand the inherent lure and value of print. Paper and ink will always have their place. But any magazine that attempts to define itself as a News Magazine today is in fact admitting that they prefer to remain in the buggy-whip business. Nobody gets news on a 30-day cycle anymore. However, we can prioritize and organize the most important news of the past month for you and present it with our own commentary, and we can provide a wealth of insight on all the most important topics of our industry each month via our expert writers and columnists.

All that said, we took a hard look at our content and our customer base and came to three very basic, but very important conclusions about print magazine subscriptions today:

Many readers living and working outside the U.S. tell us they would still like to receive a print magazine if it wasn’t so expensive.

Some readers simply are not able to receive a digital version of our magazine due to the security policies within their company or organization’s network.

Most work in an environment where there are a number of other individuals who might also like to receive a monthly subscription of their own.

Using those observations as our guide, we’ve created a new Annual Company Subscription plan that, for the old price of a single subscription outside the U.S., now allows you and up to eight qualified individuals at your same location to each begin receiving your own personalized print copy of Rotor & Wing each and every month, while the digital version remains available at no cost. But whether you opt for the free digital version, the new low-cost print version or both, now you only have a single form for your whole team, and a common renewal date to manage each year.

Check it out online at www.omeda.com/rw

Which is also a fitting way to sum this all up … we will continue to provide print where print is valued, and we will use the Internet where the internet adds value … each will always have its place.

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