Bauer has ended Paperboy the Auckland city giveaway. It was launched in November 2016 and the next issue was due out on 25 January.
But in a statement, Bauer said the cost of producing the free magazine in a “highly competitive market” exceeded the advertising revenue generated … and it will no longer be published.
Bauer said the magazine “championed a positive vision” for Auckland and the move to shut it down was a tough decision.
And so, thank you Bauer, for Paperboy, your ambitious attempt to provide a giveaway weekly paper-magazine for central Auckland and its suburbs. I was only a sporadic reader, picking one up from the empty bus seat next to me, or after passing one of the inner city distribution bins. I seldom actively sought out a copy. To be honest, it seemed aimed at people who were younger and cleverer than me.
There were always some interesting stories. New magazines take awhile to become established in their market. Bauer said it had been doing okay for he last three months. But it was not making a profit and had not provided the advertising revenue to sustain its future. The company decided to pull out.
To its credit, Bauer had taken a risk with Paperboy. It had invested a lot to develop the title for new audience of Auckland city and city fringe dwellers, with plans to expand to other centres. This at a time when all media – let alone print- have been going through upheavals. It’s magazine-style layout was nice, as befits a magazine company, and the stories were well written. In my opinion the newsprint quality seemed a bit low rent considering the subject matter. Bauer published 100,000 copies a week, so improving paper quality might have added a lot to its production budget. But the paper quality detracted from the product and would have made it harder to make a splash with advertising.
I am probably too old for the target demographic, but I sometimes found the font size for the body type a too small for easy reading.
The upmarket home décor, architecture and the arts focus would have made sense to Bauer. That was probably the speciaist where Bauer thought the advertising revenue would come from.
Paperboy received good feedback from media folk about town and many people have lamented the loss of the magazine later this month.
But I wonder if Bauer aimed it too upmarket. For ad revenue it would have been competing against mainstream newspapers and radio stations. Editorially it appeared to aim at the clever set consumers that reads The Spinoff. Staff are being redeployed at Bauer, and the hope is that Bauer will be prepared to take other risks in the future.