They've been discreetly buying the stuff they test — including cars — for decades now.
I like consumer reports, but they concentrate on products that appeal to the masses, not highly-technical products like computer video cards that the average consumer is not interested in.
It's amazing what you can do, when you have 7 million subscribers, each paying $30 a year, isn't it?
The market for consumer computer hardware component reviews, does not have this kind of reach, however.
Think there might be a lot more consumers looking for reviews on products in the $100 billion+ per Year market for Cars, Versus the $50 mllion+ per Year market for video cards?
It has not always been like that, but In fact.... I would dare say that discrete video cards are becoming a niche market for hobbyists.
There's no way 7 million people are going to subscribe to a publication that reviews computer components; not going to happen.
That is going to be one hell of an expensive subscription (which people will therefore not buy), Or, it's going to by necessity wind up subsidized by manufacturers anyways.....
I'm sure there's no way they could get that, if they weren't concentrating on things of interest to their subscribers.
Also, the fact they are buying Cars means that's money they aren't spending on other types of products for review....
A heck of a large amount of money, also, by the way: cars are expensive.
Video cards have a small market and are expensive enough that a significant commitment is necessary.
Also, I see Consumer reports would more likely be reviewing something such as Smartphones that would bring in interest by subscribers and potential subscribers.