A new chapter

It’s the editorial comment no editor ever wants to write: a reluctant farewell to a loyal readership. But I’m hoping that the end of one era will also herald the start of a new and exciting chapter.

Times are hard. The economy is struggling, the political climate is volatile, and precious disposable income is in short supply. When you’re battling to make ends meet, a magazine dealing with all things hi-fi and home entertainment isn’t exactly top of mind.

Audio Video SA isn’t alone in this dilemma. Magazines — almost all magazines, regardless of subject matter or target market — have been shedding circulation for some time now. It’s made them less attractive to advertisers, which has only worsened their financial plight.

For almost three decades now — since July 1988, to be exact — Audio Video SA has been the only truly South African, independent source of news, reviews, advice and information on the local audio and video front.

Over those 29-odd years, the magazine has seen and reported on huge changes in the consumer electronics industry. Back then, vinyl was still hi-fi’s primary source, the compact disc was in its infancy, and home theatre was a rarity.

Today, it’s all about streaming, 4K UHD video, high-res audio, multiroom sharing, and wireless everything. The resurgence of vinyl has been the most surprising trend of all, and in a way provides some hope that the tactile appeal and depth of information inherent to magazines will also endure, and return to flourish in the future.

For Audio Video SA, however, the game is over. Rising printing costs, dwindling advertising support and an adverse economic climate have made it impossible to continue in a printed format. However, it doesn’t spell the end of the brand.

Our web portal at www.avsa.co.za is undergoing a major revamp and will soon bring both loyal readers and new visitors a potent bouquet of content that will include news, product reviews and features, compiled to the same high standards, but fresher and more relevant. There will be daily updates, and a weekly cycle of in-depth content — plus current favourites, such as our ever-active Classifieds section, a directory of importers, and more.

For now, it’s farewell to you, our loyal readers, and to those in the industry who have supported us so staunchly. Thank you for supporting us for so long. We hope that you will join us at our new on-line home, and look forward to your comments, suggestions and ongoing support. Feel free to e-mail me at deon@avsa.co.za.

Deon Schoeman

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