Are magazines the new vinyl?

Bob Chapman has written a blog post about something he noticed over at techdirt. It seems that vinyl LP sales are going up, while CD sales are on the way down. There are lots of possible reasons, and no one seems to know exactly why this is the case. One big reason is thought to be the physical nature of LPs versus CDs, according to techdirt:

For true fans, the LP is a sort of badge of fandom, proof of just how much you love the band. Compared to a digital download or a CD, the LP is a crafted thing, complete with large-scale artwork and often other inserts.

Bob sees another facet to this trend, wondering if magazines might displace newspapers for some of the same reasons. Simply put, magazines are better artifacts than newspapers. By their nature, they encourage longer articles, with sustained analysis. They are less tied to quick reactions and immediate stories, so they could be more reflective. You don’t get ink on your hands when you read most magazines.

Given all the recent controversy around Episcopal Life and its future, Bob ends his post like this:

Could this be a way for paying for the journalism we need to understand events, not just know about them? Who is going to take the leap to try this? More importantly, has someone already taken the leap? Is this the model the Episcopal Church is consciously (or unconsciously) trying to move towards with Episcopal Life?

Yes, indeed. I think the magazine- and web-based strategy is better than the monthly newspaper strategy. People are more likely to savor a magazine, and perhaps leave it sitting on the coffee table for guests to see. Meanwhile, those who want immediate news of what’s happening will turn to a website with fresh, up-to-the-minute news and insights.

The transition won’t be easy for some, but it’s the right way to go. We made the same switch in the Diocese of Rhode Island when I was communications officer, and no one has ever looked back.

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1 Response

  1. Bob Chapman says:

    It’s nice when you find people who agree with you. (grin)

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