August 10, 2022

Popular music magazine plans reunion tour in print

When Dough first success magazine newsstands in 2002, each issue was accompanied by a CD sampler of songs by up-and-coming bands featured in the pub pages. Popular promotion helped Dough, which started as a quarterly and then became a bimonthly, quickly climbed the music-mag charts, peaking at over 100,000 subscribers. But just as the compact disc gave way to digital downloads, the internet crippled the rates for print ads, and in 2010, Dough was forced to abandon his book and join the growing ranks of online-only publications.

Then a few years later, a funny thing started happening in the music business. Audiophiles yearning for a more tactile experience have turned to a medium widely considered a dead vinyl record. Part of the revival of the LP was due to nostalgia, but music lovers also wanted something they could hold, keep and collect – something that lasted. Now Doughwhich is based just east of Atlanta, bets print enthusiasts, especially in-depth stories about music and pop culture, feel a similar yearning for the old-fashioned feel of ink and paper. Paste Quarterlythe first title physical book in almost seven years, hits mailboxes in March.

And in real Dough mode, the number also includes a musical sampler of exclusive material recorded by bands at Paste Studio in New York. The compilation will be pressed on 150 gram seafoam green vinyl.

“The whole idea of ​​having a print magazine is to have something worth keeping, something that looks wonderful and tangible and has that collectible quality,” says Josh Jackson, who co-founded the magazine with two college buddies and stayed on as the site’s editor. “You’ll want to put it on your coffee table or on your shelf.”

Dough is just the latest pop culture pub to go back to ink. In 2014, Chicago-based online music magazine Pitchfork launched Fork Review, a quarterly devoted to long-form writing, comics, sweeping photography and design. Last October, centered in New York twirl released its first print edition in four years.

“Our job as a music publication is to give readers things to read, things to contextualize, things to discover but also, perhaps subconsciously, to highlight the importance of music as an art form. “, says Chris Kaskie, president of Pitchfork. “And as we were discussing the best way to display that ideology, we thought that in the same way that an artist creates a record and prints a vinyl, for us it was a way of creating what we thought a music magazine should look like, something that could be representative of a time and place, but also something that you could look back on forever. That was our version of putting out a record. There’s a certain nostalgia attached to it, there’s defiance, it’s all rooted in the celebration of music as an art form.

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But bibliophiles could refrain from turning on their presses for the revolution. Publishing consultant Lou Ann Sabatier says while print is far from dead, with hundreds of magazine launches every year, it’s very rare for a title to return to print after betting it all on the web. . And when they do, it’s usually in a very different way – there’s no going back to what it was.

“They come back very different,” says Sabatier of Dough. “They’re really marketing it as part of a platform, the print of which can be an anchor. It’s a different experience. Long-form journalism is really hard, digitally. People will now scroll over 800 words, but if there’s something they want to delve into, sometimes you want to hold it in and you don’t want it to go away. You want to study it. You want to be with this.

Jackson agrees. Despite this announced return to the physical page, there is no illusion that Dough will be anything but a first web post in the future, and it’s not the least bit sad about it. After the initial growth pains of going digital-only, staff turnover and refocusing on day-to-day content, the site now attracts over 7 million unique visitors each month. In recent years, they’ve expanded their coverage primarily from music and film to include TV, comics, politics, and drink. The staff of 13 full-time and 26 part-time employees is twice as large as it was at the height of print and, in Jackson’s view, the quality of the writing s is finally caught up.

“The idea of ​​going back to the printing press is not so much to try to find the good days of Doughsays Jackson. “We wanted to create something for our target audience that would augment what we do online.” Having learned the hard lessons of newsstand sales and advertising rates, Paste Quarterly is crowd-funded, and as of January 20, the Indiegogo campaign has raised over $147,000, surpassing its $100,000 goal by nearly 50%.

“I believe there is a place for a luxurious and very special publication that comes out infrequently and is expensive,” says Jackson. “If the readers pay the fees and you don’t rely on advertising, you can do something really beautiful and big. Something that looks like an event when it appears in your mailbox.

The first issue costs $20; the one-year subscription costs $70. The high price buys a thick 12-inch-by-12-inch book filled with lush photography, illustrations, and lengthy writing that would feel constrained by a screen, plus an LP you can hold, pull from its sleeve, blow dust and drop the needle while you unplug with a good book.

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Tony Rehagen wrote for Pacific Standard, QGBloomberg and ESPN The Magazine. He is based in St. Louis and is on Twitter @trehagen.