Future Uncertain for Auto Aficionado

Auto Aficionado postAuto Aficionado may be headed for the exit ramp.

Sources indicate that the 6X magazine will cease publication and its subscriber list sold.

Auto Aficionado has been challenged by ineffective circulation initiatives, fluctuating editorial focus, and a lack of paid advertising. Like a number of boutique publishers, going it alone with a tractionless lifestyle formula is no easy task.

I expect Automobile Quarterly to eventually become the next casualty as the market shifts from artsy high-dollar pulp, to hard news and e-commerce aimed at a screen-savvy demographic. American Driver seems to have the scale necessary to achieve production efficiencies and future tweaks with its formula may be in the offing.

An attempt to reach AA publisher James Lopez has not met with a response, and the publication’s website subscription area is no longer functional.

Stay tuned as events unfold.

Popularity: 3% [?]

Eric's Consulting Services for Publishers

There Are 11 Responses So Far. »

  1. I was anticipating this post. They don’t have anywhere near the 12500 subscribers showing up in the stats page. Is their circulation audited?

  2. AA does not have audited circ figures and I’m unaware of a published USPS 3526 (statement of ownership and circulation for second class mailers). A common technique to avoid divulging what might be perceived as inadequate reach in the eyes of advertisers. Their mailing list is being shopped so I think the party is over.

  3. Not that I’m that perceptive, but seems I made the right move in not renewing this year, after being in there since the handout at Amelia Island that came before the 1st published issue. It just didn’t maintain a focus on my areas of interest (ie not new limited production exotics).

  4. Your analysis such as it is does not address the fundamental problem with AA, namely it was doomed from the start by an individual or group or whatever wanting big shot publisher bragging rights and the market didn’t bite. You (eric) talk about “traction” or whatever yet the marketing pro in me figured out a long time ago that a predifined number of paid subs acquired at an acceptable budget amount are necessary to make the formula work. The few pieces of direct response I saw failed to appeal at the gut level. Many hours of enjoyable reading and too bad it came to an end.

  5. Content > Circ > Advertising. In that order! Publications need all three. You raise a good point about ownership. Check related post : AA’s self mailer.

  6. Car Collector heads the buyer list. See related post.

  7. Auto Afficiando also leaves the scene merrily stiffing a number of good, honest, writers. It was “pretty” and oft-times well-written, but the unpaid bills that it left for freelancers to chew on were reprehensable. Bad tastes last a loooooooong time. -Stokes

  8. ‘Spoke to a former employee a couple of weeks ago, who was quite candid about grossly inflated circ numbers (over 100,000 back issues are stored at the homes of two ex-staffers) and the death of AA. Word is there are new owners, but they’ve yet to come up with any capital.

  9. In case you haven’t heard – Auto Aficionado is kaput.

  10. AA is attempting to fulfill their sub obligation with Automobile Quarterly. Sources indicate AQ is also expected to cease publication in the coming months.

  11. Interesting post. I would love to see an update.

    I’m a car mag junkie. I came back from Hershey and the number of mags there has really dwindled. Not too long ago I could count on seeing Old Cars Weekly, Hemmings, Vintage Truck, Car Collector, SCM, Automobile Quarterly, etc. Now? Not as much, although I found back issues of AQ to round out my collection, and the folks at Hemmings are nice.

    A shame about Auto Aficionado. I liked it but the content went off track. I am not surprised that SCM does well but think OCW faces an uphill battle. Circ alone won’t sustain it, and advertisers are heading to the Internet. I even get most of my content online these days (I’m 62). I hope AQ sticks it out. Maybe not having advertising is a good thing. And even though Hemmings’ format may go the way of the dodo I still love turning every thin page.

    Nice web-site and a very good read.

Post a Response