Deatomization: MacAddict Subscription Extras

We’ve covered a lot of ground in MacAddict. It’s time to pick up some of the remaining “non-magazine but totally magazine” parts of the MacAddict experience.

You know, the things that are really tied to that physical experience of the magazine, just more… deatomized!


If you skipped the Behind the Scenes post, you missed the MacAddict virus alert notice that was included with the January 1999 issue. This simple one page document is an interesting bit of history – it is interesting (to me, at least) that such a document that went out to so many, could now be “rare” due to its non-importance. So I thought to myself, what else fits into this description?


Very rarely, MacAddict would include a foldout that was inside the magazine, but not particularly part of the actual magazine (not changing page numbers, for example). These were all advertisements – but I like old advertisements, so I’m covering them.

The following foldouts were among the collection I was able to scan and linked here:


The Tomb Raider 2 one is appropriately cheesy and of its time, but it also has the MacAddict logo on it – so for that kid with a love of Lara Croft and MacAddict, what a combination!


Okay, if you’ve made it this far it’s clear I’m reaching for random things that came with the magazine (well, outside the obvious CD!) So what’s the next thing you expect to find in a magazine?

Oh yeah, reminders to subscribe!

This seems like an odd thing to archive, or even care about. But whereas one subscription card is boring, a trove of them are interesting. Now, there are slight differences month to month (usually the subscription code changes – sometimes even between the cards packaged together) but these differences you’ll forgive me for not uniquely splitting out. Some sidebars are also a slightly changed hue.


With that being said, let’s dive into the oddities of Subscription cards and sheets!

For me, the first thing to come to mind is the pricing and discounts. Based on the sheets alone, it looks like the pricing was:

  • At launch, $29.95 – saving 65% of cover price. This price (which was later noted as 68% off) was the longest running based on the number of cards I have.
  • A consistent $24.95 price noted as 73% to 74% off cover price (with or without a free CD gift)
  • A “Free gift offer” price of $29.95 (noted as 69% off) that came with a free CD gift during the time of $24.95 subscriptions
  • A drop to $24.00 with a free CD gift (noted as 75% off)
  • A sad drop to $19.95, with a free CD gift (noted as 79% off)

As expected, there were a variety of different designs for these cards and sheets – some differing in design, others just the covers chosen, and some cards were quite different.


You can find the selections linked below:

This seems like a place to talk about MacAddict subscriptions. I did happen to notice in one of the smallprint texts of the number of copies sold was printed once a year. Let’s take a quick look at those numbers (months are the data, not the magazine date):

  • October 1997: ~270,000 (100,000 subscribers, 60,000 over the counter, 100,000 returned from News Agents)
  • November 1998: ~270,000 (104,000 subscribers, 53,000 over the counter, 105,000 returned from News Agents)
  • October 1999: ~315,000 (148,000 subscribers, 49,000 over the counter, 116,000 “not distributed”)
  • October 2000: ~300,000 (140,000 subscribers, 44,000 over the counter, 100,000 “not distributed”)
  • October 2001: ~275,000 (155,000 subscribers, 34,000 over the counter, 87,000 “not distributed”)
  • October 2002: ~270,000 (152,000 subscribers, 36,000 over the counter, 80,000 “not distributed”)
  • September 2003: ~275,000 (145,000 subscribers, 40,000 over the counter, 90,000 “not distributed”)
  • September 2004: ~247,000 (135,000 subscribers, 29,000 over the counter, 81,000 “not distributed”)
  • September 2005: ~190,000 (104,000 subscribers, 25,000 over the counter, 58,000 “not distributed”)
  • September 2006: ~170,000 (88,000 subscribers, 21,000 over the counter, 59,000 “not distributed”)


Based off the numbers, you can see the magazine’s peak and decline through the years. Of interest, when researching these numbers I came across various sites that discussed this. Here are some links of interest:

And a MacWorld attack ad for advertisers from November 2006 (PDF here)


Well, that’s some snark from MacWorld. I mean, I guess the adults read MacWorld and the cool kids read MacAddict. The audiences were different in size and disposable income, for sure!

I’ll put it like this- MacWorld to me was the company behind the expo where cool stuff was announced, and MacAddict was the company keeping the faith during the dark times and resurgence of Apple!

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