This month, I'd like to acknowledge our wonderful advertisers who are making our new, free, web-based format viable. Advertising has steadily increased, making it possible for us to continue to pay our writers, pay our rent and other overhead and pay for production of the website edition without subscriber revenue.
And I can happily report that our new RAG™ is very popular, atttracting at least 7,500 visitors a month. This is nearly double our former print RAG paid circulation, and it's more than triple that of our nearest competitor. (We realize this is somewhat like comparing apples and oranges since our nearest competitor is still a print publication, but nevertheless it does indicate that our readership is growing rapidly. And, we are pleased that we can still reach our international readership due to being online. It was very disturbing when the U.S. Postal Service dropped surface mail outside the U.S., cutting international readers out of the loop due to the expense entailed in airmail delivery of a print publication.)
Our research indicates that some visitors check just a few pages at a time, but others stay on the website for up to five hours, reading not just the current issue but also past issues. In like manner, past advertisements are checked out, so ads have a long life in the RAG. Our breakdown doesn't specify who the readers are, so you needn't worry about your privacy. The breakdown simply tells us that these are all unique (i.e. different) e-mail addresses and gives us information that isn't tied to a specific e-mail address. Your privacy has always been important to us, and we will continue to protect it in all respects. We never sold or rented our print RAG circulation list, and we are following a similar policy for our online distribution list.
We do have a favor to ask of you: If you buy tickets to an event, book a cruise, attend a festival, buy a book, or purchase a recording as a result of seeing an ad in the RAG, please let our advertisers know that you are responding to their messages in the RAG. Most trad jazz and ragtime advertisers are on a tight budget, and they need to know if their advertising dollars are well spent.
We feel very lucky to have loyal advertisers who recognize the marketing potential offered by the Internet, and we're quite impressed by many of their websites, which are well worth visiting. Advertisers' website addresses are given under their ads. Just click, and you are transported to their sites.
We believe we've got a win-win-win situation going for the readers, the advertisers, and the RAG. Thanks to all for your adaptability!
With all good will,