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Poor subscription levels herald the closure of The Classic Motoring Review

Regrettably, after just five issues of Britain’s most distinctive classic car periodical, this email marks the end of the road for The Classic Motoring Review. Subscription Renewals following the publication of our Summer issue – the first for which they were due – proved less than 50%, whereas 80-90% is an industry benchmark. Moreover of the subscribers invited to renew their subscriptions with our latest, the Autumn issue, the rate was less than 10%, admittedly just a fortnight after its publication – although once again industry norms are for 30–40% of subscribers responding with ten days of receiving renewal notices.

And deliberately lacking advertising or other forms of income, without newcomers taking out subscriptions in numbers sufficient to make the magazine viable, I’ve come to the sorry decision to close it before embarking on the production of issue #6, or going ahead with expensive marketing activities that from past experience just don’t work.

It is indeed ironic that virtually all the feedback I’ve had from readers and indeed our esteemed contributors has been gratifyingly positive, and I’m very proud of what’s been achieved. But for what it’s worth, I can only surmise that the reasons for its failure to attract and keep enough readers are one or a combination of the following:

  • Classic car enthusiasts are keener to see relatively short articles illustrated with photographs than they are with long ones accompanied by line drawings.
  • In these economically uncertain and even challenging times, the cost of a subscription is a deterrent to what is admittedly a personal indulgence.
  • Editorially, the mix of subjects just doesn’t work for enough readers.

For those readers whose subscriptions still have one or more issues to run, we will of course refund the relevant proportion of the payments they have made, either by cheque or direct into their PayPal or debit card account as appropriate to the method originally used. Being a one-man-band, this will take me a week or two.

For those who may want to complete their collection of TCMR, we will however continue to sell back issues from our website shop for the next couple of months.

So whilst I go about the forlorn business of undoing a business, can I thank all of you who did stick with The Classic Motoring Review thus far and hope that you continue ‘reading the road’ in whatever manner suits and satisfies you in the future.

Best regards – Mark Williams: Editor/Publisher