i started playing hifi in 1988 and i have seen the industry going thru major ups and downs. this current scene we are seeing now, is the worst of it all. very few people are playing hifi, even fewer people are buying. generally hifi has been relegated to a very niche and exclusive hobby. as a new and late-entry-into-the-scene publisher, i don't see the light at the end of the tunnel. i shudder every time i think of the future of hifi and hifi publication in malaysia.

today i had tea with one of my dealers. he regretfully told me that he is considering closing down his business. "this market is deader than dead; i am losing money every month", he lamented. another dealer in city square told me that he is fed up of having no customers visiting his shop. the signs are all there.

what can we do? very little or a lot, depending how to see it.

after some serious soul-searching. we want to turn the table around.

it is going to be like this:

the magazine is going to take on a new and unprecedented direction. we are going to become the 1st ever totally independent, "underground", free, and self-financed magazine in malaysia, with very little ad revenue. in particular, we want to help those small dealers with no advertising budget.

to drastically cut down costs, we are going to be using newsprint (newspaper quality) and it will be in black and white tone. we will write whatever we feel like; promote and review whatever we feel like; publish whenever we feel like (no deadlines nor fixed frequency)and we won't even bother to edit our articles. it is going to be raw, rough but original and spirited.

there will still be ads. availability of the ad space will be on a first-come-first-served basis. the payment of the ads will be totally by voluntary donation. the proceeds of the donation will go towards funding the printing costs, which is peanuts compared to using the kind of quality paper now. me and my contributors won't get a single sen from writing. everything is voluntary.

sceptics (there are many) will ask: aren't you silly in doing this kind of charity? you think that all dealers will appreciate your efforts? sceptics will remain sceptics la. just like if you don't believe that cables make a difference, you won't be convinced even if they do. actually, that is simply because your system has not enough resolution la :-)

we cannot always take and take from the society. sometimes, it is good to give back. it is good for one's karma. and it also makes you a better person.

this is our greatest service to the hifi industry in malaysia. a record, if ever there was one.

to those who still complain after this (about our standard of english, our distribution, magazine not thick enough etc etc), we will just stick up our middle finger and tell you where to go. oppss...sorry for a momentary lapse of manner and refinement :-)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, i came across your mag, the av express when i was working in KL early this year. I found it refreshing and entertaining, and it gives a breath of fresh air compared to the stale world of hifi publishing from the uk. Now that i am transferred to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, how can i get a copy of the mag there?? I understand that you dun sell it commercially anymore. Contact me at lum_chee_lun@hotmail.com.
Many thanx