Magazine survival 101: Make sure there’s a point to it

Why pay for print magazines when you can find everything for free on the internet?

That question is at the center of the magazine industry’s survival, and any magazine that can’t come up with a good answer to that query is likely doomed.

So we took note of SPIN* magazine’s redesign, due to be unveiled on February 28.  Beyond the reduction in frequency and dramatic cosmetic changes, there also has been a sea change in editorial strategy.

To quote Spin’s publisher, Mike Albanese, “If you’re going to have a magazine in 2012, there better be a point to it.”  Words to live by, at a time when Spin’s year-over-year newsstand sales have declined 35% and competitor ROLLING STONE* saw a drop of 18%.

The revamped edition of Spin will contain long-form articles and essays, analysis and reviews of classic albums.  Each bimonthly issue will follow a theme that shapes the content, with the upcoming March/April one being ‘Retro Active.’

Breaking news and reviews of the latest music will be left to the website, which will debut its own transformation next week, including nine new blogs and streaming music.

This follows a model tried by many magazines in recent years with varying results, leaving the short news briefs, tips and insider gossip to the web, and focusing the print product on more in-depth features.

Is this the new print trend? And…will the readers see “the point to it?”


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