"People love a funeral and in the digital age they don't even have to dress for it." David Hepworth
I was truly saddened to read of the demise of The Word magazine. As well as being a long-time subscriber and fan of this wonderfully witty and charmingly written magazine, it seemed that it was symptomatic of what founder David Hepworth called the 'dramatic changes' in the media and the music business. Changes that 'have made it more difficult for a small independent magazine to survive and provide its staff with a living'. Changes that were exemplified by the way in which news of the closure spread.
The best magazines make you feel as though you are part of an uncommon community, populated by people who share the same interests and most likely have a similar view on the world. Ironically, these are characteristics which magazines share with some of the best digital environments.
Yet every magazine owner is having to dramatically diversify revenue streams beyond circulation and advertising, and change not only their business models but very role of Editors, Publishers and just about everyone involved in producing the end product. This wonderful column by David Hepworth describing this change and written last month, now seems somewhat prophetic.