Britain’s music magazines have revealed how the past few months have hit them and it seems they’re in the same boat as many businesses.
The Guardian have done a report that is looking into the effects of the UK’s beloved music magazines, seeing the effect on the biggest established brands down to the underground, smaller publishers. It shows that even some of the most popular brands are having to consider closure after the fallout.
The nation has gone quiet on the music front and the world has mostly followed. Gigs, festivals, tours, even album releases have been postponed and cancelled all over and it’s left the music industry (and almost every other industry) in a difficult place.
For music magazines, the sudden standstill of happenings has left very little to report on. There’s only so many artists you can interview about how the Coronavirus pandemic and shutdowns have affected them before it gets tired, few in fact as so many are growing weary of the constant stream of true but sad news surrounding the issue.
Bauer Media have announced last week that their monthly magazine Q is under review for the future. They’re looking at the possibility of moving to a digital-only format to cut costs, but other options include a merger, divestment, or even a closure.
That’s one of the UK’s biggest music publications whose future is being brought into question. So, of course the situation for smaller magazines is looking uncertain as well. Loud and Quiet is a free music mag that runs on adverts from live music. It’s founder, Stuart Stubbs said: “It was like a tap being turned off.”
In response, Loud and Quiet and another freesheet Crack have launched emergency subscriptions for their content to help prop them up in lieu of advertising revenues.
Most publishers have moved their efforts online to reduce printing costs, something that some have been doing anyway in response to the dwindling market for physical publications. British music staple NME published their last physical magazine in 2018 to move online though release special edition print copies every now and again.
For the others this transition could become permanent, or it could sadly signal the end for many. Read the full report from The Guardian and remember – report music publishers you love if and when you can!