jul 28

Why Music Mags Die

Slate: The three biggest reasons music magazines are dying.


Fun to read, but not very convincing. How about

1) Same reason all other print publications are dying

2) Blender and Vibe never really had that much to offer, and the internet is a much more efficient waste of time

3) The main appeal of Spin was the snarky verbal acrobatics, w/r/t which, yeah, pitchfork tops all y'alls.

(Those may all be the same reason).

posted by alesh at 10:14 PM on July 28, 2009

The other reason they allude to in the article is ultimately consumer journalism is service journalism and nowadays there are tons of other ways to learn/hear about music.

Nail in coffin number one. Jump to iTunes and Amazon and you can hear clips.
Nail in coffin number two. In those same places, you can read what others are saying. Even if the individual reviews are trite, the overall picture is valuable.
Nail in coffin number three. Aggregators like MetaCritic change the way people look at reviews. It's no longer based on pub, but based and criticized right next to multiple sources.
Nail in coffin number four. Entertainment journalism is quite bad nowadays which the article alludes to. But nowadays one can really step back and realize how much purple prose and nonsense populates most average reviews.
Nail in coffin number five. Even if you don't download items illegally, a blog that does will happily review and provide tracks to listen or download.

The scene has just changed. It used to be required in the 1980s to grab a copy of the Village Voice (for example) to keep up on what's new. Now? Who cares.

And yes, the platform for logical thoughtful criticism is dying. But the entry point to getting a blog or review published on Amazon is zero. The days of making a life off of it are dead/dying, but I think I really appreciate pop culture being more accessible.

posted by Jack at 11:48 PM on July 28, 2009

Good riddance to most music mags, who were basically part of the big record companies exploitation machine anyway (e.g. NME and Melody Maker merciless hyping of so-so bands).

I do hope, however, that something more articulate, less pretentious and less insular than Pitchfork appears on the net soon.

posted by Librarian at 1:12 PM on July 29, 2009

Hm. The pleasure of Nicholson Baker's Kindle piece was about 1/3rd useful tech review and 2/3rds pure reading entertainment. I think that cultural media outlets/authors would do well to pay attention to this specific balance.

posted by alesh at 11:10 PM on July 29, 2009

I like having more access to music through the web, but sometimes it feels good to be able to go to the bookstore and buy a magazine.

Also, guess Jonah didn't read Chuck Klosterman's essay about how Video Game critics should be like music critics.

posted by rudeboy7969 at 8:42 AM on July 31, 2009

I agree that music magazines are basically an exploitation used by big record companies. If they actually showed some interesting artists they might be worth it.

posted by Daniel Coupet at 5:54 PM on July 31, 2009

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