DESPERADO: The Age offers subscription discount of 97.5% to disguise circulation freefall

moneyshotThey’ll never pay back their $2 billion in debt like this folks.

One of the many friends of VEXNEWS – a Demons supporter regrettably – has just sent us this extraordinary email – see below. We mentioned only the other day that the age was fluffing up its circulation with deals to the Melbourne and StKilda footy club membership bases, but we didn’t know that the level of discount offered was so, well, desperate.  This email is the proof you need to understand once and for all that VEWXNEWS isn’t conducting a vendetta against the Age – we’re just reporting the facts.

Read the email below and do the sums for yourself:  The offer gives you a copy of the age every Friday (cover price $1.50), Saturday ($2.40), Sunday ($2) and Monday ($1.50) for a full 52 weeks of the year, for just $25.  Let’s make this clear.  That’s $7.40 worth of papers times 52 weeks, or $384.80 worth of papers for $25, or in other words, a discount of 93.5%. 

But wait, there’s more.  A full $15 from that $25 is going to be donated back to the club as well, which makes the actual discount a mind-blowing 97.5%.  Why don’t they just give them away and save themselves the trouble of collecting an amount of cash that, frankly, won’t make the slightest difference to their massive debt load? 

Something is very wrong down at Spencer Street when they have to resort to this kind of marketing.  What will the Fairfax marketing geniuses think of next?  Paying people to read their paper?  Free car with every paper sold for full price?


FOOTNOTE: Our resident newspaper expert advises us that, technically, it’s not possible to give away newspapers for free and still count those papers towards quarterly circulation figures. We get it now. So, clearly they would be giving them away for free if they could, judging by this desperate tactic.  Which raises two questions: how long can they continue to do this for and still survive?  And how long can they continue to do this before the small handful of people who pay full price find out and as Terry Clark would have said get mighty, mighty pussed-off? 





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11 responses to “DESPERADO: The Age offers subscription discount of 97.5% to disguise circulation freefall

  1. ANON

    This isn’t new. The Age have been offering the same discount to Melbourne Victory members all season.

  2. centaur009

    Although i appreciate VexNEws war on the AGE, it still remains the best of a bad bunch. surely Vex isn’t suggesting we read the Hun or the opposition gazette the Aus?

  3. centaur009

    How can i get this offer if i’m not a Melbourne FC member(or supporter)?

  4. What about Thursday

    Good deal but I wouldn’t take it without the Green Guide. The Age isn’t good for much else except toilet paper substitute.

  5. market forces

    It’s the market at work. $10 a year, The Age is probably worth that and no more.

  6. recycling

    They are very concerned about the environment about channel deepening but what about the paper they waste on printing classifieds no-one reads anymore.

  7. Unfairfax

    Your numbers are wrong. When you add the home delivery fee and newsagent commission which they must pay on every home delivered copy, the real discount is more like 120%.

  8. Andrew Landeryou

    Very good point. We’ll look into that.

  9. Demons First

    Perhaps this is cannier marketing than vex gives credit. Oft the butt of jokes for their wealth, MFC members are a ripe bunch for selling. the age will be able to sell a clique easily understood by the likes of BMW and volvo when doling out advertising bucks. all the email shows is that there has been a slower take up and it’s a precursor to todays match in launceston – get the deal and get the result and all the detail in the paper.

    super deals having been going on at the HUN for uni students and the like for years. same reason.

    if anything its smarter.

  10. Walter Plinge

    “How can i get this offer if i’m not a Melbourne FC member(or supporter)?”

    Do you actually want to read The Age? My friend, get a life or a hobby.

  11. Anthony from Parramatta

    I can get the SMH free at my gym. Even at this bargain price, there’s still a large pile left towards the end of the day.

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