This time last year The Music was on the cusp of releasing our first, new look, monthly edition. A year on our publisher Craig Treweek has shared this letter in our October issue, which hit the streets in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this week.
A little over 12 months ago we made a decision, and one at the time that was against the prevailing tides of the media landscape.
We had spent five years looking for ways to restore life to our magazine division. We had tried everything in our powers to return weekly street press to its glory days but as we sat down last October to discuss the ever-diminishing page sizes and revenues, we knew that we had failed; a title change to The Music, multiple format changes and cost-cutting had failed to stem the ever-increasing funds required to retain the magazine business. The positives were the website was flourishing, our podcasts were gaining traction and we had an incredible team of journalists and editors around us.
As we sat and looked at spreadsheet after spreadsheet, it was clear that the simplest decision was to cease producing magazines. No one would question that decision. It seemed that newspapers and magazines were announcing their closures on a weekly basis. The arguments for closing were many and contained logic. The arguments against were fewer but contained passion and commitment.
We had the credibility and respect of the market, and readers who believed in what we were doing. You still couldn’t get a ‘cover’ on the internet and artists still made time to do cover shoots because it was still an honour for them to “grace the cover of the ....”. And we had this incredibly passionate team who continued to push out the highest standard of music journalism in the country for little reward on a weekly basis.
We also owed it to ourselves and the street press pioneers before us, to provide a place for music and arts journalism outside of the internet. The digital age has changed our world, but it has also allowed for everybody to become a critic, a journalist and a photographer. But in my opinion, magazines remain the bastion of the best writers, the best critics and the best photographers. When we publish, it has a real cost, it can’t be changed or updated. It lives on until it becomes a bin lining or fire starter, but it does not alter.
The decision was made to double down and make one final charge, to increase the quality, to increase the word counts on every article, to shoot almost every cover, to entrust our incredible team to restore our legacy.
Twelve months on, we have achieved what we set out to do. As I wandered the streets of Sydney on the weekend after issue one dropped, it felt like a journey back in time as I saw cafes where punters had put their phones aside and again were reading The Music. At that point, I knew we had made the right decision.
To every reader, to every writer, to every artist, to every advertiser and most of all to our incredible team, thank you for your support.
PS. The discussions about the future of the magazine division still happen every month. But at least for now they are over pretty quickly.
Craig Treweek - Publisher
Check out the latest edition of The Music below.