Where would you like to see the magazine?

flyfinn

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Well speaking as someone who is living in Oz atm.. (i'm finnish originally) I'd like to see a more australianised version or even the NZ one.. I do buy it occasionally when it's available at the newsagents.. which version incidentally is the one sold in Oz?
 

TGUKGLM

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I think it's the UK one as I don't believe the NZ guys export to Oz.

You can get hold of the NZ mag via http://www.magazzino.co.nz/

It's very good.... :)
 

ishigakisensei

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I'm not a printer, so if my idea is stupid please forgive me. But, I'd like to see a US version of the magazine, and by that I mean the 100%/at least 75% UK articles but with local advertising/stories. Why is it not possible to digitally format the ads in the UK in such a way as for the US version, US/Canada based ads can simply be plugged in? UK advertisers who don't want to relenquish their space in overseas editions can be accomodated through a higher fee or some other negotiated way.

Perhaps have a handful of freelance writers in the US/Canada to fill in for a local flavor. May not be possible but you did ask what we'd LIKE to see.
 

TGUKGLM

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Hmmm - 4 problems here :

1) UK advertisers wouldn't pay extra simply because the mag was on sale in the US. E.g. where's the advantage for someone like Renault?

2) US advertisers wouldn't advertise in what was effectively a UK mag - even if they did we'd have to pay a big team to generate the sales.

3) US mags are mostly distributed via subscriptions, so the smaller the magazine (in terms of no of pages), the cheaper and hence more profitable (making it unlikely that it could be the same size as the UK.

4) Finally, in order to make something like this viable, we'd have to sell several hundred thousand copies a month - I'm not sure there are enough TG nuts in the US yet to make it worthwhile.
 

ishigakisensei

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TGUKGLM said:
4) Finally, in order to make something like this viable, we'd have to sell several hundred thousand copies a month - I'm not sure there are enough TG nuts in the US yet to make it worthwhile.

Perhaps, it would behoove the UK members to ensure that the US TV version is not a flop so that with name recognition, a US version of the magazine could indeed become a possibility?
 

TGUKGLM

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Spot on - the more people watch it, the more likely it is to get taken up as a full time series, the more likely we are to get the mag there
 

ricochet

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Hi James,

I'm a magazine publisher here in the US (Subiesport Magazine, available at the usual booksellers in the US and Canada). Several years ago, when I was publishing a general-interest car mag (Driving Sports Magazine) I met with the Top Gear magazine Publisher while I was visiting London to discuss bringing some of the content to US audiences. Not sure if it's the same guy over there now as I haven't kept in touch.

Anyhow, to the point of my post. As much as I like Top Gear TV and the Magazine, I would suggest avoiding a US edition. General interest car mags are taking a serious beating on the newsstand and there are simply too many. With The National Enquirer tossing yet another one into the mix (MPH) that's really more than the market can bare---and sales were already in decline!

That's my view as a professional in the business over here. It's also why we moved the Driving Sports brand into new media and launched a niche title for the newsstand, instead. It was the only way to survive (without spending tons of money over several years to gain market hold, that is...)

Cheers,
 

ishigakisensei

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ricochet said:
General interest car mags are taking a serious beating on the newsstand and there are simply too many. With The National Enquirer tossing yet another one into the mix (MPH) that's really more than the market can bare---and sales were already in decline!

Not an expert here, but I would say that is mainly due to a lack of quality. In Japan, car magazines (Option being the most known) are ofter over 350-400 pages. Yes, lots of adds, but a lot of pics and useful articles in addition to the usual silliness. Its all in great fun and it helps that Option runs D1, but in the US, I go back to Street Fury that is all attitude and hype and no substance. Host can't even drive and his ghetto persona is grating.

I don't buy American magazines because they suck. British car magazines are more mature and a better read over all. Plus, they allow titties in their adds! :thumbsup: Of course, market research is warranted, but I still say that a crisp well written magazine will sell.
 

zenkidori

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You sir, have never read grassroots motorsports I see.

It's funny that very few actual drifters have heard of that show you keep railing against.
 

flamingice

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Hmm... I haven't looked at this thread before, just read through the whole thing... quite interesting to see things from the viewpoint of someone actually involved with the magazine... thanks TGUKGLM!

It'd be great to have a north american magazine... although what I'd really like is the extras that you get in the UK... I always fall for gimmicks like those. :) I agree with what's been said about a slightly differentiated Canadian version as opposed being identical with the US... I wouldn't be at all surprised if that would result in better sales.

And on the topic of the electronic version of the mag... I'd say that generally, the people here on the forum are pretty 'technologically comptent.' So far, the feedback on the electronic version has been pretty negative, what do you think that reaction would be like for the rest of the population? Personally, I wouldn't subscribe to an electronic version... I'd be willing to pay significantly more to get a printed copy.
 

zenkidori

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Oh, back on topic.

I like reading the UK version. Honestly, I probably wouldn't buy a US version if it omitted the english writers. I very much enjoy the writers already in the mag, else I wouldn't read it in the first place. You could have a mag dedicated to the US or the Americas, but it would probably end up being far less interesting because we already have a plethora of similar publications dedicated to stuff over here.
 

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zenkidori said:
Oh, back on topic.

I like reading the UK version. Honestly, I probably wouldn't buy a US version if it omitted the english writers. I very much enjoy the writers already in the mag, else I wouldn't read it in the first place. You could have a mag dedicated to the US or the Americas, but it would probably end up being far less interesting because we already have a plethora of similar publications dedicated to stuff over here.

Totally agree.... I love reading the UK one. Mainly becuase I love learning about other tastes and preferences. It's also really cool to me how to countries can speak the same language (....kinda) and be so different. If there was a US Top Gear Mag. available, I probably wouldn't buy it because I'd be worried it would be too watered down so the "common folk" could understand it.
 

TGUKGLM

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Thanks for all your comments - especially 'richochet', nice to get an insight into the US market from someone involved in it at the moment.

With all our partners, ensuring that they 'get' the brand is crucial and one of the first things we look for. So, any US edition would have to be sufficiently similar to the UK one to satisfy that criteria.

I can't imagine it without JC, May, Horrell etc.. though as I think they are at the heart of what the mag is all about.

... and of course we would want them to provide all the extras...
 

zenkidori

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If you basically had the same exact magazine, except switched out country specific articles that would be good. Like if you have an article on UK insurance or something for example, that means NOTHING to the US as our insurance structure is very different, so if you swapped it for a US insurance one that would be good. EXCEPT if it's an editorial piece.
  • Don't take out reviews/articles about cars we don't get.
  • Don't remove any editorials.
  • Don't make JC or anyone stop making fun of us.
  • Change the prices for things that are available in the US to $(not a ? to $ conversion, list the price as available in the US), but if it's not available here then there isn't much of a point.
  • Don't make the Discovery Channel Top Gear mistake.
 

hokiethang

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zenkidori said:
  • Don't remove any editorials.
  • Don't make JC or anyone stop making fun of us.
  • Change the prices for things that are available in the US to $(not a ? to $ conversion, list the price as available in the US), but if it's not available here then there isn't much of a point.
  • Don't make the Discovery Channel Top Gear mistake.

I agree, the editorials are good, the supercar articles need to stay, but i'd think Peugeot 1007 reviews would get skipped by 90% of American readers, so i'd say at least make the reviews relevant.

Part of the humor of the magazine too is the comments from JC, whether negative or positive. As much as I would enjoy them (along with most of the Americans on this board), the average American would likely get offended (remember, this is the country where heaven forbid someone be offended by a word on TV...). It'd suck the humor out of it I know, but I'm not sure how to market around the block this country has on being offended.
 

zenkidori

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I think that the reason that many Americans like JC is because he's very American. My conservative/republican family members like him very much, and when has there ever been a sucessful comedy on TV or in print that hasn't made fun of us? We love self-depricating humor, we eat it up as evidenced by shows like South Park, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Arrested Development, The Daily Show, Politically Incorrect, The Tonight Show, The Late Show, Late Night etc. You can't open up a newspaper, magazine, or turn on the TV without seeing a joke, satire or sideways comment on some aspect of American life, it's just what we do.

I'm sure some diehard nationalistic redneck would be offended, but those aren't the people reading the magazine anyway. You don't need to sanitize things for everyone, you just need to please your target audience and I don't think there will every be a big enough backlash from a JC joke to make them unprintable here.

JC has a very American personality, and nobody I have ever shown his writing(the times and TG) to has ever been offended, often they think he's hilarious.

That's what I mean about the Discovery Channel Top Gear mistake. All the humor was sucked out of it, and when people saw the show it was pretty bland to them. Then when I show them an ep of the real Top Gear they're hooked.

We can take a joke or two, no need to go walking around on eggshells. Most of us are pissed off about the same stupid things that the British make fun of anyway.
 

ishigakisensei

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zenkidori said:
You sir, have never read grassroots motorsports I see.

Actually, I have read it but I just consider it a racing magazine written for and by racers. Its in a different genre than other just car oriented magazines.



It's funny that very few actual drifters have heard of that show you keep railing against.

You could not be more wrong. That show is well known among drifters in the US, Canada, and Japan. We all hate it for the false impression it gives just as we don't like so many kids taking Fast and Furious movies as documentaries.

Whether its UNIQUE Whips to American Chopper to Street Fury*, its all in-your-face attitude. The Simpson's Poochy episode perfectly encapsulates this attitude pushing by television shows.


*Spike TVs PowerBlock filmed up in Nashville lacks the in-your-face attitude and foes more for bad jokes and to-the-point features. For what these shows are, I like'em.

JC has a very American personality, and nobody I have ever shown his writing(the times and TG) to has ever been offended, often they think he's hilarious.

Is it just me, or when JC does a big grin, does he not look like Ralphie from A Christmas Story all grown up? JC's on-air personality is great because he comes off as a big kid having a great time and letting the rest of us in on it. Plus, he is intelligent and witty. America already gets watered down beer. We don't need watered down UK magazines.
 

zenkidori

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ishigakisensei said:
You could not be more wrong. That show is well known among drifters in the US, Canada, and Japan. We all hate it for the false impression it gives just as we don't like so many kids taking Fast and Furious movies as documentaries.
Well I am one of the founding members of the first and only drift organization in CO and I know quite a few people out west and have never heard of it untill you posted about it.
 

TGUKGLM

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, any US publisher would have to include the humour and the JC stuff, I think.

Don't forget that, much as many people hate this phrase, Top Gear is a brand as much as a TV show and part of my job is to protect that brand.

I think all the comments above about what you would / would not include in a US version are pretty much correct.
 

ishigakisensei

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zenkidori said:
Well I am one of the founding members of the first and only drift organization in CO and I know quite a few people out west and have never heard of it untill you posted about it.

Not trying to be offensive, but Colorado is hardly even a mini-epicenter of US drifting. Via the internet often times, lots of drifters know about the show and how it misrepresents the scene.

Don't forget that, much as many people hate this phrase, Top Gear is a brand as much as a TV show and part of my job is to protect that brand.

During the off season, the TG trio could come to the US to promote the brand and help pump up interest in the US version. No need to have a competition between the two shows, protect and promote the brand. Though, I would hope that TG would never whore itself out so far like the OCC crap on everything....but that's just my opinion.
 
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