It's hard these days for print music mags. Ad sales are down, forcing some magazines, like Blender, to go under. Paste Magazine is apparently the latest music rag to face financial problems; via a release, the Decatur, Ga., magazine is asking its readers to donate money to keep the magazine afloat.
As a completely independent magazine, Paste has struggled for the past nine months as advertisers have decided to wait on buying ads in response to the recession. Last month, cash received unexpectedly reached an all-time low, and turned a tough situation into a short-term crisis.
Rather than shut its doors, Paste is launching a reader appeal today to help save the magazine. Many of the artists who’ve been covered by Paste over the years—folks like Neko Case, The Decemberists, Of Montreal, She & Him, Josh Ritter, The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlile and the Indigo Girls—have donated rare and exclusive tracks to give to anyone who donates to the cause. Two of the tracks were recorded specifically for the campaign. Plus Sixthman has donated an ocean-view cabin on next year’s Cayamo Cruise, and bands like R.E.M. and Band of Horses have donated signed posters to be given away to random supporters.
As noted in the release, Paste is offering tons of freebies to people that donate money. Also noted in the release is that 2008 was Paste's best year, finding the magazine reaching highs in distribution, subscriptions, and web traffic, so it's pretty sad for the printing business when good years can equal doom.
Not to mention the fact that just last month for Record Store Day the magazine offered a "Pay What You Want" for subscriptions campaign, reprising the gambit that increased circulation in 2007 when the magazine followed Radiohead's lead.
Personally, I never read Paste much since I kind of find it to be a music version of "Stuff White People Like" (they completely ignore hip-hop, despite being located a few minutes from Atlanta), but I've enjoyed their film and books coverage. But it's still sad news that yet another music magazine might be forced to close up shop if things don't get better in this economy.