Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Demise of Paste Magazine

Decatur, Ga. based Paste Magazine confirmed that it was no longer printing issues of the magazine on September 1st via Twitter. Paste closed because it was struggling financially and even launched a campaign in which they asked for donations from readers, which helped keep the magazine afloat for a couple of more issues. As a new subscriber but longtime reader of the magazine, I was heartbroken to learn that most of the Paste staff had been let go (one of my favorite writers at Paste, Rachael Maddux, chronicles this event in a story for Salon) and that the state of the magazine is up in the air.

Paste was in my opinion, one of the best music magazines out there and also had a subscription plan that I thought would be the future for all music magazines. For example, my subscription that I purchased last Christmas entitled me to all of these perks - print copies of the magazine, digital copies of the magazine I could read before the issue hit newsstands, digital versions of Pastes sampler series, a live MP3 of the week and 2 free albums that were a part of their Artist Discovery Series. I thought this idea was incredibly brilliant and would be the blueprint for how music magazines would function in the future, but I guess that even having such incredible subscription options was not enough to save the magazine.

Maddux's story for Salon details the sort of criticism and praise that was directed at the magazine over its eight year run and I must say that my experience as a reader is that Paste was a bold magazine that had the ability to create a magazine that not only featured stories about some of my favorite musicians (The National, Ryan Adams and Death Cab For Cutie) but also opened my eyes to a wider variety of music I had never even heard of, which is saying a lot consider I eat, sleep, and breathe music. They also wrote some great articles that sometimes made me stare in astonishment and thinking "How did they come up with that?" It is sad to see a magazine with such character and originality be forced to close and I can only hope that the writers will appear in other publications since they were all excellent writers.

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