Belated Bereavement For Blender

03.30.09 9 years ago 17 Comments

Kelly Clarkson On Blender’s Final Cover…What A Way To Go

Every week, it seems as if another newspaper or magazine is going belly up. Even for those that haven’t, it’s only a matter of time & these occurences are like a living funeral. Once again, here we are at the edge again with another music magazine pushed over the cliff as Blender took the leap last week.

Gut feeling is that I’m amongst the minority in saying I did like Blender, myself & a handful of bloggers who were influenced & inspired by their tongue in cheek writing & ability to cover seemingly everything in pop-culture. I’m not a huge of fan of dense reading in magazine form. When part of your job is to read & ingest material all day, you like to watch writers who can provide a comedic punch. I want quick, precise writing for when I go take a crap & Blender had that. That plus I always thought their interviews, created from reader questions submitted by readers, were always off the beaten path enough to keep my interest in acts I could really give a rat’s arse about.

Paid subscriptions fell 8% [from 2007-08] to 768,000, while newsstand sales declined 18% to 44,233. Ad pages at Blender also plunged 31% last year and another 57% from January through April, according to the Publishers Information Bureau and Media Industry Newsletter.

Yeah, heavy debt & declining income can be tough to overcome. I had a free subscription for several years. Come to think of it, maybe that was part of its demise maybe. Either way, I haven’t heard Obama say anything about bailing out print media. Shameful when you think there were employees @ Blender, actual people with families to feed. As Gross notes, “Sure, they can blog to their heart’s content (like here), but for many of them who rely on it as their first income, this is pretty troubling.” Furthermore, it signals the change for writers across the board. Inside the heart of every little blogger, clicking away @ a keyboard in oblivion, the goal is to one day possibly have their work deemed “good” enough to be published in print form. With the continual shrinking of the medium, the chances of that happening are less & less. And writing for a living? Pssh.

Death will most likely be making a stop by Vibe’s door soon and I wouldn’t expect Complex to be immune either. This all may sound trivial to some, jovial to others. But you have to start thinking of where you’ll be going for full, trusted opinions for music if print media keeps taking the L.

We can hope and dream that the patchwork of sites, blogs, zines and such will be enough to cover the bases in the music world (or we can even try to make it happen ourselves) but the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t always and it can’t. Other publications will eventually pop up in their place but they’ll face the same problems of how to stay alive in a Net age. And as you might have heard, there’s no reliable model for that yet so there’s no guarantees for any of the up and coming pubs to survive either. That’s what’s kind of unsettling to me and if you’re a real music fan, it might just creep you out too.

For now, Blender will be moving to a scaled-back, online version, but I’m not one to take the laptop into the lavatory with me and too many others have cemented themselves as the go-to spots online, so…bye-bye Blender. You will be missed.

In other news, online advertising grew 10% last year. Potential ad seekers, get @ us. We take check, cash & Paypal.

Alpha Media Shutters Blender [Ad Age]

What Does Blender’s Demise Mean For The Music Biz? [Pop Matters]

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