In what’s quickly becoming a familiar story for niche magazines struggling with global distribution and limited cash flow, Grooves
magazine, a well-regarded, 6-year-old electronic music quarterly, is shuttering its print edition in favor of an all-digital format.
The 10,000-circ, San Francisco-based enthusiast title will relaunch in December as a digital-only title, with its first digital issue available for free.
Like many of the turntablists the magazine covers, its editor is spinning the move to both fans and advertisers as a positive.
“Of course, people will still prefer a print magazine over online at this point,” says founder/editor Sean Portnoy. “But this move will allow us to reach more overseas fans of electronic music that we weren't able to reach previously.” Portnoy is working with Texterity
to produce the digital version.
“Want some more advantages to advertising in the digital Grooves instead of print? How about cheaper rates, and full color ads?” Portnoy wrote in a letter to readers and advertisers. “We can track how many people look at your ad in the digital edition of Grooves. Better yet, a hyperlink can be built into any ad, letting readers click straight to your Web site.”
Grooves, which began in 1999 with a paltry 750 copies, carries a “few hundred” subscribers and is mainly a newsstand-driven title, according to Portnoy. He also cited problems
with its newsstand agent, Big Top Newsstand Distribution
, among the reasons for the switch. “Our decision has more to do with cashflow than losing money, especially since I am the sole owner of the publication.”
Like the many products of dot-com era, modern electronic dance music including “techno” had its bubble burst at the beginning of the century, only to see interest in the genre rebound in the last year.
Portnoy, who also serves as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, hopes to take the digital title to bimonthly frequency in 2007.