Thursday, January 30, 2014

Are Blues Magazines Dead?

It is of no surprise that I am obsessed with the blues; apart from my membership in the Blues Foundation and The National Blues Museum, I also collected Blues Revue magazine up until 2012.

100 Issues of Blues Review, hung on my wall.

Blues Revue was the definitive blues magazine; it also came with CD's (subscribers only) to promote new blues music. It also had some guitar and harmonica lessons, reviews, news, and editorials. 

I say 'was' because as far as I know they are now called Blues Music Magazine (I don't recall getting a memo on that, so I'm assuming). 

With the insane popularity and near complete take over of the internet, everything physical is going down the drain. Digital and streaming audio have surpassed CD sales for a few years now, and printed media has also taken a huge hit.

Why would you want to buy a magazine that will not only require real estate to store, but by the time you read the news in the magazine, it would already be considered obsolete. In Blues Revue's case, the magazine was released every 2 months; so in between you lose a lot of information. 

Apart from a collectors value, there is no longer a need to maintain a physical copy anymore. You can get the news that you want, whenever you want it, and even hear music clips and make purchases at the touch of a button or a finger swipe. 

While there a handful of blues magazines still in print, they also have turned to the internet, just like the hundreds of newspapers and magazines worldwide to remain relevant and up to date. The way information is shared and viewed these days, especially towards a niche audience of blues lovers, has effectively killed printed format. If huge establishments like Newsweek went digital, and many more following, we will have to accept the fact this is the trend, but it doesn't mean its bad news!

As long as the blues writers and editors and lovers connect with the blues audience, then I don't see how this is a bad thing. We just want to preserve and promote and support the blues, so the online strategy just has to make sense and the rest is easy as pie. 

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