SSN Publisher Quits, Starts New Print Trade Magazine

By John Honovich, Published May 11, 2018, 07:56am EDT

[link no longer available]

After a decade as the publisher and face of Security System News (SSN), Tim Purpura [link no longer available] has joined the UK's Hand Media where they are starting a new print trade magazine for the Americas.

It is the first new print security magazines in years. Good idea or not? In this note, we review the state of the trade magazine world and how Hand aims to go global.

Security ***** ********* ********** ***** *****

****** *** ************* ****, where ************* *** ***** moves **** ****** ***********, the ******** ***** ********* have ******* ************ ***** or ******** ** *** past *** *****.

*** **** ******* ******** trade ******** **** *** also **** ***, ** 2016, **** *********** ****** ********* **** to **** *********'*****-******* ** ************. *** ********* of **** ** **** in **** **** * years ******** ********** ** SSN.

Purpura / **** ******

******* ********* ** **** that *** ****** ** to ** ******.**** ******* **** ***** *********** *****, ***** ** *** of *** ****** ******** publications (**** **,*** ******** print ***********). ** ****, Hand **************** **** ****(**) *********** ****** ****. ***, **** **** hired *******, ** *** US, ***** ******* **** to ****** **** ***** America, ** **** ***** they ********** **** *** little ********.

*** ******** ** ********* more ****** *** *********** ****** to ***** ******** **** it *** * ****** ago.

Starting ******** ********

******* **** **** *****, launching ** ***, ******** News **** ******** ******** will ** *******, *********, to ** ******** ******** of **,*** (*** ******** **** **** ******* Media ***):

*** ***** **** ** on **** ****, ** start, ***** ** ********* team *** ***** ** hire ** ******** ****** later **** ****.

Magazines ********* ********

** *** ******** ********, magazines **** ** ** regional (*.*., ** ********* are ****** ***-******** ** the ** *** **** versa *** ** ****). To *** ****** **** Purpura *** **** *** overcome ****, **** ***** ** the ***** ** ****** the ***, ***** *** provide ******** / ********** to *********** *** **** a ****** / ******* reach ******.

The ****** ** *****?

**** ****** *** ******** industry, *** ****** ** print ** *******, ** more *** **** *********** is ******** ******. ** the ***** ****, *** 2017********** ****** **** ******** integrators **** **** ****** to **** ******** ***** magazines** ***** **** ******. However, ** ** *** clear ** **** ******* print ** ****** ** just **** *** ***** magazine ******** *** ****.

**********, *** ******** ****** will ** *** *************. While ******* ************* **** overall *** **** ** print ********, **** **** who **** ** ** a *** **********, ********* and, ** * ****** extent, *****, **** ****** top ******** ** ***** magazines. 

*********, ** ** **** to *** **** *** market *** ***** ***** advertising ** *** ******* so ** *** ****** that ******* ******** (*** he *** **** *** experience *** ***********) ** could *** **** ******** on *** ***** *********.

*** ****** *****, ******, is *** ** *** of ***** ***** *********, including ****, ****** ************* themselves **** *** ******** of ******* *** ******* press ******* **** ** increasingly *** ****? *** I **** ** * ********** way, *** **** **********

Update: ******* ****** *** ************

********* ****: ******* *** left **** ***** / Security **** ******* *** ******************* ***** ******* ** Morse ********* ***.

Comments (30)

When I think of print magazines, I think of all the advertising I have to flip through to get to the articles I want to read. The most recent publications I have subscribed to all come to my email. At this point, most print magazines that come to my house or office go right into the trash. 

30-year-olds are not their target audience ;)

In all seriousness, I have to suspect print readership skews older but how many older people read them, I am curious to know.

I’m old enough to have subscribed to AID magazine and I only read print at the dentist or when my battery is almost dead on my phone. (Alarm Installing Dealer)

30-year-olds are not their target audience ;)

You're probably right. In that case, they probably won't be around long enough for anyone to remember their name in 10 years. Ever since I started reading The Hustle I basically stopped reading the news in apps. The Hustle puts the articles right in my email. No links to click...I don't have time to open up an app or a print magazine. IPVM is probably the only news site I actually visit. 

Another thought, are manufacturers still paying for print ads and why?

JB, thanks, I had not seen The Hustle, I just signed up for that.

Another thought, are manufacturers still paying for print ads and why?

Ask Hikvision...

The best theory I have is that when a manufacturer is large and they are already spending a small fortune at trade shows (which cost something like $100 per person who visits your booth), spending $5,000 for a print magazine ad is acceptable. I still think social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. is far more cost effective but again when you're a really big company, you can spend more.

Also, you generally get the trades saying positive things about you if you are an advertiser, which has some benefit as well.

1. Manage negative press

2. Food for hoarders

3. Electronically provided

4. See 1.

5. See 1.

Security News Desk Americas Magazine

Will it be printed in landscape format so they can fit that name on the cover?

How will people even talk about the magazine verbally (supposing they would want to in the first place)? It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.  "Hey, did you read that Hikvision ad story in S N D A M"?  Maybe Sin-dam? That might work for the non-Biblical crowd :)

I don't think we need any more print publications, but if I was launching one, I would not go with such a long and boring title. Having "news desk" in the name just seems to reinforce the idea of an out-of-date news delivery method.

Their website will be

To compare:


These sites like long URLs :) And in fairness, when we started we were but may be the best $5,000 we ever spent.

$5,000???? Talk about dedication! You're right. If you had that long URL I would have never joined! I'm mostly not kidding. To me, that long URL tells me you're outdated. We recently launched CMDx.Life for our company dedicated to residential customers, for now. 

Related, I was curious and looked it up:

Hi all...first, print is not dead, it will be, but today there's still an audience that prefers print. Do keep in mind that SecurityNewsDesk-Americas (I'll address that in a minute) will also have a strong e-Media portfolio to deliver content the way you want to consume it. Print, in time, will be gone. As for the long url, John you most likely started with the long one due to the established "brand", there is a brand with SecurityNewsDesk built over the last 10 years.You may not be aware of it (since it served the European marketplace) however now that it will be here in North America you definitely will be. Maybe it will shorten in time, maybe not.

I appreciate all the insight. Thanks.

print is not dead

Here's how we know print is dead. If all of the companies stopped advertising in the trade magazines, there would not be enough people willing to purchase these print magazines to keep the business alive. 

Why not solely focus on digital content. There are opportunities out there that even IPVM isn't going after right now. IPVM dominates the digital space in the security industry. That's not to say that there isn't more opportunity. We all know John H sits on the beach all day and works typing away on the latest iPhone getting into debates with random dudes on IPVM and writing smart comments on Linkedin. What a life! (I'm am kidding here...maybe...if he is actually on the beach doing this I have even more respect for the man now)

Releasing a print magazine is like me installing an alarm system in a home monitored by nothing more than a phone line. Sure, phone lines still exist and a lot of people still have them. However, when it comes to our lines are dead. 

About 1/3 of the workforce in the US are millennials, by 2030 millennials will dominate the workforce. Currently, ages 24-36 millennials and are already getting set up to be in key positions leadership in security companies over the next ten years. Let me tell you; they're not going to be looking to advertise in a print magazine. The security industry landscape is changing. We're seeing more and more tech startups releasing security products as opposed to the old companies that seem to be on the way out. I'm sorry, but I don't see how a print magazine if a good business decision today will be in two years. Here's your chance to start fresh out of the gate and dominate the way IPVM is in your way. 

Hi John...I'm not going to disagree with you, how info is consumed has changed. There is still a part f the industry who does prefer print. Not sure how long that will last. Any publisher is is not building a strong online presence (which we will be doing) will be gone.


Thanks for the pic of John sitting on a beach, it actually sounds good right about now.



First, I think Tim’s responses have been extremely professional and well written.

Next, I wonder how the response to using QR codes to redirect print to electronic are working these days?

Lastly, I really have a hard time believing John is in Hawaii enjoying the surf, but that’s just me. 

John is in Hawaii enjoying the surf

According to SSI's top contributor, I am!

Thank you for the complement, it's appreciated.

As for QR codes, while I don't have any official stats, I don't see them on many ads and can't imagine they are generating many views. Just my opinion.

Why not solely focus on digital content.

I think an important factor is that advertisers pay a premium for print vs online. The security trade mags list a full page at ~$5,000 per issue. On LinkedIn or Facebook, even targeting just for security professionals, that would be hundreds of thousands of impressions (plus thousands of click throughs, likes, shares, etc.).

Print is going down, but the world is big, and there are countries where print is still strong. Also, the look and feel of a magazine are different, it might not be the right fit for you, but it doesn't mean its not right for everyone.  

Israel, any sense of how print publishers know how many people are reading the print copies? I know publishers cite the number of issues published but what is the most accurate way to determine how many are being read?

That is a big challenge and also the reason why many advertisers are moving to online advertising (not just in trade publications, in media in general). 
Print media can only know how many copies they published and sent out, but there is no way of knowing how many people read the magazine or what they read (i.e. was it read in the waiting room by 20 installers, or only by one person, or went directly to trash. There is no way of knowing if you read cover to cover or only pages 4 and 6).
We do call out campaigns to our readership to check that their subscription information is still valid, but this only tells us if contact info is valid.
its interesting to note that we have a magazine in India (a&s India) that has a "letters to the editor" section, so at least in India people are reading and some care enough to write back. 

a&s India that has a "letters to the editor" section, so at least in India people are reading and some care enough to write back.

That's good to know! Interesting!

Related, that is one thing I wonder about with trade magazine websites generally. Most have very few comments which, to me, is a bad sign of engagement. If people are (a) reading and (b) find it interesting, there should be people commenting.

you are right, I think that one of the problems is that initially trade magazines did not position themselves as a "two way channel" of communication, but as a uni directional way to push information to the market.

Im not sure how, but we get Security System News in each month. We didnt buy a subscription so whoever sent these to us, Thanks!

At any rate, I do enjoy reading it from time to time. I put it up in my showroom for integrators to read while their orders get ready.

With that being said, i would never buy a subscription because Im an online type of guy

i would never buy a subscription because Im an online type of guy

Nonsense! You and I both know that when someone releases "Hikvision Money Train Monthly" you will be the first guy with his wallet out! :)

But, in all seriousness, I think a publication that went the other way - all out fanboi, like MxInstaller but more - think Cosmo meets Flex meets trunkslammer, they'd have a better chance both to entertain people and get ad spending.

Mr. Purpura, one of the highest criticisms of the traditional trade magazines, and alluded to in this discussion, is the challenge of maintaining journalistic integrity writing articles about the very companies that are paying the bills with advertising. Is there a solution to that which you see?

That is a problem that exists not only in trade publications. There is no perfect solution IMO. Publications can set up a paid subscription model like IPVM and be completely independent (the problem is that people are used to get information for free) or you as a reader will have to  trust the integrity of publication (and as is the case with any media, take some things with a grain of salt).
Let's assume that the people that work in the trade magazine do care about their work, find interest in it and try to do it professionally.
Trade publication writers are not writing to get a Pulitzer, but it does not mean they are complete slackers or don't care about their integrity.
disclosure: i work for a company that organizers security trade shows and publishes security publications.

I understand that, and hope it wasn't meant as a dig. I really am curious if trade mag editors 1) acknowledge the possible problems and 2) address what I think are growing concerns. If there was a possible answer or theory on it.

Print magazines will go away just like newspapers. The move to online is here!!!

Tim did an interview with SIA CEO Don Erickson:

This is similar to the series Tim did at SSN, though that series averages ~50 views per episode:

Update: Purpura has left Hand Media / Security News Desk and has become International Sales Manager at Morse Watchmans.

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