A Guitar Magazine's Answer to Shrinking Circulation & Advertising

I used to love reading magazines, we always had a bunch of them scattered around our rehearsal studio, but these days when I want guitar news and information - I head straight to the web. The information I get is just as likely to come from independant blogs as it is from big publishing companies.

Guitar World Magazine

As any reader of guitar magazines over the last few years would know, these publications are getting fewer in number, smaller in size, and their circulations have been dwindling.

Guitar World Magazine is trying to combat this trend and have announced that they are increasing the physical the size of the magazine as well as including a poster with each edition.

They are of course going digital as well, providing full-screen, high definition video from their website.

I could be accused of being a little biased, as I'm writing this on a guitar website and you won't see this in print, but my opinion is that it will take more than a big poster to get guitarists buying magazines again.

Of course this may not be what Guitar World are planning - maybe this is a promotional strategy to drive people to their website.

The digital economy is doing for print publications what it has done for recorded music.

I wish Guitar World all the best in their efforts, but the reality is that magazine publishers will need to become more like Apple and a lot less like EMI Records if they are to have any chance of long term survival.

Anyone reading this on a Tablet computer by any chance?

Click here to subscribe to Guitar World Magazine for only $1.04 per issue.

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You are right, I haven't bought a guitar magazine in years. It's just the same old stuff recycled over and over again, heavy focus on blues and shred. They should put more effort into featuring lesser known musicians.

The Death of Print Magazines

Some of you players are far too young to know -- this is another of those, "Wish I could take you back" thoughts, but there was once only one guitar mag: Guitar Player, and, oh, what a different mag it was in those days. We would subscribe if we could afford to, or run to the newsstand or music store the day it would come out, because there were usually a limited number of copies. It was the ONLY source of national and worldwide news on anything guitar back then. We'd drop everything that day and read it cover to cover, every little ad included. I remember the "firsts" -- first interviews with the likes of a young Clapton, Santana, Jerry, Roy Buchanan, John McLaughlin, Van Halen. I remember when they put Mike Varney in charge of hunting up new talent, and one day he was raving about this Swedish kid, and none of us could figure out how you pronounced that name. Ying-Wee? Little did we know he'd end up in Alcatraz a year later, then on to solo metal stardom. A whole different era, with limited guitar brands, maybe three brands of decent electric strings. THE MAGAZINE, quickly dog-eared, was our connect to the world of guitarists out there, where we carefully considered every word said, every product or guitar used and mentioned by the star players. Unlike today, these players were naturally far larger than life, yet all the star and product hype was kept to an absolute minimum. It's not some sweet nostalgia that makes me say there was something more studied and genuine about the whole scene. With almost no tab to be had, you learned those classics all by ear if you had any hope of playing them at all.

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