Blogs

February 12, 2017
 

Hobby Fragmentation – Death of RC?

More articles by »
Written by: Derek Buono

Hobby Fragmentation

The other day I was talking to a manufacturer who I hadn’t spoken with in a long time. It was a quick “Hey, what’s up?” call to reintroduce him to what we call “a magazine.” His reply to my asking whether he’d seen the latest issue was actually a bit shocking/fun/sad/telling. He said, “I haven’t seen, or looked at, a magazine since the internet, and it must be affecting us.”1

Do people still blame the internet for their business2 problems? I’m not sure; his answer made me laugh, but it also caused me to reflect on what really is an issue for our hobby. It isn’t that the internet has ruined “magazines”; it’s that businesses haven’t adapted to it. Let’s be real here for a minute. The internet isn’t new. It’s old news. Our magazine is a media outlet, which does include a “traditional”-style magazine but also uses the internet as a means of distribution to help bring people into the hobby. Saying what he said about magazines is like me saying “I haven’t picked up a car since they made that there video game machine!”3

Which brings me to my headline: Fragmentation. Our hobby really used to be more of a collective. Each segment was heavily invested in the media outlets available at the time: i.e., magazines.4 It’s way too expensive for a single company to try and reach the masses. Some have attempted it, but many have found out how expensive mass marketing is, and many have gone belly up because they leave the group and try to do it alone. Our hobby is small. It’s a niche. And this is why we are much stronger as a group and not as a rogue company trying to be a manufacturer, distributor, publicist, media outlet, and customer service center.5

I use Google daily, but for the topics I love that are outside of this hobby, I still turn to the magazine industry and other media to read about them, both on paper and on my iPad. Mass media is a very important part of this industry.

This isn’t a “Hey, we’re important, look at us” editorial, but it is a reminder to this industry that we need to be // work, and behave as, a group.6

1. It’s difficult for those who work in the hobby to understand that we are not our customers.
2. Always an excuse about why something else is the problem.
3. Waiting for somebody to Google your product is not a good business model. Traxxas is mainstream and still supports the industry. Smart.
4. Magazines = industry supporting media; spending money to help growth and to educate potential customers.
5. Shall we list the companies that have ditched “the core” and then failed?
6. Big splash.



About the Author

Derek Buono
Derek Buono
Derek Buono– Started in the industry as an assistant editor at RC Car Action where he spent 2 years before being recruited by Xtreme RC Cars Magazine. For the past 10 years Derek lead Xtreme RC Cars and helped double the circulation, improved editorial quality and helped lead the market in design and creativity. Derek@vrcmag.com



Advertisement
 
 

 

RC Babble Live! Join us every Monday at 5:30pm PST (8:30pm EST) for a live show.

“We’ll do it live!” We have no script, no ideas, and just babble about RC cars every Monday at 5:30pm. Derek, Jeff, Peter and some special guests get together, drink a beer, and discuss over 30 years of being ...
by Derek Buono
 

 
 

Redcat Racing Kaiju RTR Video Review – Should Traxxas Worry?

Everybody has competition. The big brand in RTR’s doesn’t seem to worry, but Redcat has been changing their gameplan to include high-quality products and cheaper prices. The new Kaiju setups up their Monster Truck g...
by Derek Buono
 

 
 

Redcat Racing Wendigo Rock Racer RTR – Video Review – Too fast for rocks?

You love scale but you hate scale speed? Me too. Well, sort of. The Redcat Racing Wendigo Rock Racer puts some big power and speed into a solid axle scaler. This means scale speed is pshhhh…gone. But is there such a thing...
by Derek Buono
 

 

 

VRC Magazine Issue #39 – Socially Distant Edition – Download for just $2.99 now!

One day we’re kicking ass, the next day the world says ”sorry, not sorry.” In the future, somebody may read this and still be in quarantine, or they might be outside laughing about that time they stocked up on a lifetime ...
by Derek Buono
 

 
Free Trial of Velocity RC Cars Magazine
 

Arrma Infraction Goes 80 mph off-road? No. Video review!

Sometimes a box tells a story, tells you what’s inside, or what it would like to be. In the case of the over-ambitious text on the website and box of the Arrma Infraction, it gives you hope that you can go off-road. Of co...
by Derek Buono
 

 

 

Velocity RC Cars Magazine – Paint Special Issue – Download Instantly!

If you can’t go fast you better look good. If you don’t look good, you better be fast. Can you be both? Sure, a unicorn poops ice-cream and there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That’s not saying you can’t ...
by Derek Buono
 

 



Advertisement