The last print edition of the Trade & Exchange magazine goes on sale today, with the publisher focusing on its online service owing to dwindling print sales and the growth of its online component.
Founding publisher and Managing Director Peter Whitmore is sad to see the print edition go, but asserts that the move is necessary. “It’s got to the stage where it’s not profitable,” he says.
The first Trade & Exchange magazine was published on March 26th 1981, and it pioneered the free-advertisement model for New Zealand. It was initially sold for 30c, with the New Zealand Herald available for 15c at the same time. The magazine, with separate Auckland and Wellington print editions, soon became a popular and iconic publication, and a true precursor to the online TradeMe phenomenon. “It’s been reported to me by several different people that it was often referred to as ‘the Bible’,” says Whitmore.
However, Whitmore is optimistic about the publication’s online component, which he says has been a more compelling proposition than the printed edition for some time now. “There’s probably around 10 times as many people browsing the website as buying the paper.”
Whitmore says long-time readers have been very understanding of the decision, although “a lot of people still really like it and either don’t have computers or would rather read it on paper.”