Grind Media buys TransWorld

thermalben's picture
thermalben started the topic in Tuesday, 21 May 2013 at 11:16am

Very interesting news from the USA. For those that don't know, Grind Media is owned by Source Interlink, who own Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, Skateboarder, Powder, Bike, Canoe & Kayak, SUP-Standup Paddler and Paved.

The acquired titles include TransWorld SURF, TransWorld SNOWboarding, TransWorld SKATEboarding, TransWorld Ride BMX, TransWorld Motocross and TransWorld Business.

http://www.grindmedia.com/press/grindmedia-a-division-of-source-interlin...

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 21 May 2013 at 12:01pm

The situation in the US couldn't be any different from that over here. In the US the top three surfing magazines are now all owned by the same company and will share the same marketing and advertising resources. Here in Australia there are four main titles (SW, Tracks, STAB, Waves), two of them are owned by NextMedia (Tracks and Waves) while the others are independently owned and have personalities that reflect that.

When I've met American surfers they often seem to think that there is a fundamental difference between Surfer and Surfing, and maybe back in the day there was, but I'm not aware of that historical baggage and the two titles are almost interchangeable for my reading. Surfer has slightly better articles but the values, the aesthetics, and the targeted demographics of both Surfer and Surfing almost perfectly overlap. Put them in a Venn diagram and there ain't many people that fall under just one title.

To me Surfer and Surfing are like the Australian Labor and Liberal parties; the only people who think they're fundamentally different are those involved. Now TransWorld is part of that family and it remains to be seen how they adapt to the fold, although I expect they'll come to resemble the other two more in appearance and values.

Besides the drift towards Groupthink another thing to consider is that Grind Media will now package ad space across all their surf titles. It makes perfect business sense to do so, yet the habit blocks smaller companies from advertising in larger magazines and reaching a wider audience. The converse is the same, larger companies dominating the ad space.

On that note: Both Surfer and Surfing have started selling blocks of pages to willing advertisers. Hurley is one notable buyer who've begun advertising five double page spreads - that's ten straight pages of ads! - in premium parts of magazines. They now do it in every single issue of Surfer and Surfing and other companies are following suit. About two issues back Surfer had ten straight pages of Hurley, eight of Vans, six of Rip Curl and six of Reef.

Pay attention and you'll see a pattern developing here: more ads are getting sold but less companies are appearing. The power is concentrating in fewer hands - just as in the advertising, just as in the publishers. The famous quote about diversity leading to good health is very apt.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 22 May 2013 at 9:04am

To me Surfer and Surfing are like the Australian Labor and Liberal parties; the only people who think they're fundamentally different are those involved. Now TransWorld is part of that family and it remains to be seen how they adapt to the fold, although I expect they'll come to resemble the other two more in appearance and values.

By: "stunet"

Too true, ive honestly never bought one copy of either, never rated them, flick through them in the news agent read a page or two and you have almost finished the mag.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.