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Arcadian Newsletter Subscriber Statistics


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Astrocade fans and collectors sometimes ask me how many Arcadian newsletter subscribers there were in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This subject has been touched upon a few times on the Yahoo message board. Some of this information has been touched-upon on the Bally Alley Yahoo group:

Subject: Arcadian Subscribers
Date: March 3, 2005
Message #2067

Number of Subscribers to the Arcadian:

1979 - 915
1982 - 2,147 (sub) + 1,260 (No Mail) = 3,407

I gleaned this information from subscriber lists that Robert Fabris sent to me recently. I also have info for other years too, but I'm not about to count those addresses by hand.



Subject: Arcadian Newsletter Subscriber Statistics

Posted by: Paul T.

Date: April 25, 2006
Message #3015

I received the Arcadian mailing lists from Adam, and for the most part it's page after page of subscriber addresses and order sheets. This could be useful for finding unarchived programs and such, but at the moment there are easier avenues to explore.

However, I did find something of historical interest. On November 16, 1979,and October 29, 1982, Bob Fabris made gigantic computer printouts of all the subscribers. These included cumulative statistics of the subscribers, breaking them down by state/territory/foreign country and by gender (male, female, both, non-person [like an electronics store], and unknown).

I typed the statistics into a spreadsheet, so I'll upload a couple of CSV files to the group. Here's a few observations. Readership grew substantially between 1979 and 1982, from 915 to 2147, a %235 increase. It also became more regionally diverse. There was massive growth in the Southeast--1 to 22 in Georgia, 2 to 24 in Kentucky, and 1 to 16 in Louisiana, for example. Was the system initially hard to
find in some areas? The subscribership was extremely skewed towards males. Ignoring non-persons and unknowns and counting 'both' as one male and one female, the male/female ratio was 712/16 in 1979 and 1862/151 in 1982. Using these figures, the female representation did grow from 2.2% to 7.5%.

I do have one question. Most of the non-state state abbreviations I understand--PR for Puerto Rico, DC for the District of Colombia, VI for Virgin Islands, and CN for Canada. But what does FN stand for?



Bob Fabris, the Arcadian published commented on this posting April 26, 2006. He said:

"Stuff comes out of the woodwork - Haven't thought about that mailing list in years.... To answer the
question about 'FN' This does refer to ForeigN addresses. Post Office requirements. I had to have mail presorted by zip codes to get "publication" rates, and this would put the non-US mail into one pile which would go airmail. One of my subscribers paid for his subscription by sorting all the addresses I sent him, printing labels, and sending them to me for each issue."

Paul added the two subscriber list summaries as CSV (comma-separated values) files to the Bally Archive group. The links no longer works, but here they are anyway:

File : /FAQs/Arcadian Subscriber Statistics, 10-29-82.csv
Description : Cumulative statistics about Arcadian subscribers, from October 29, 1982


File : /FAQs/Arcadian Subscriber Statistics, 11-16-79.csv
Description : Cumulative statistics about Arcadian subscribers, from November 16, 1979


I tried to find these CSV files elsewhere (I thought that I would have them on my hard drive), but I had no success finding them.

It's pretty neat that subscriber records like this survived nearly 40 years!


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  • 5 weeks later...


I'm not sure if they're on your hard drive, but they are on your website. :)


The BallyAlley website is so well laid out and it's usually so easy to find stuff that I'm surprised that I didn't come across this myself. Nah, just kidding. Thanks for finding the file!



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