I’m bummed. Really bummed. The beautiful, thoughtful, entertaining and award-winning magazine of Americana music, No Depression, is throwing in the towel after more than ten years of publishing. Although the editors say that they will continue to maintain — and even expand — the website, the print magazine will cease to exist after the current May/June issue.
This is a sad thing. Small magazines are finding it very difficult to survive.
The editors cited several reasons for stopping the print magazine. Essentially, their revenues couldn’t keep up with their operating costs – duh. Most notably, the magazine targeted a niche market, and a majority of their advertising was from small record labels and record stores, which are struggling even more than print media outlets.
Also, the editors noted that:
Last year there was a shift in postal regulations, written by and for big publishers, which shifted costs down to smaller publishers whose economies of scale are unable to take advantage of advanced sorting techniques.
And so it goes. I don’t want to be a chicken little here and embark on some lengthy, ill-advised soapbox rant about “the damned kids” and their supposed illiteracy and their weird attachment to all things digital. The fact that I am recording these thoughts here in the digital universe and not on the printed page is not lost on me, after all. But I suspect that soon any physical artifact (i.e. magazines and CDs) containing some form of artistic expression will be owned by one giant conglomerate. And anything published or produced by that particular corporation will most certainly suck.
But independent expression still hangs on in the digital world. At least for now. So continue to visit the No Depression website. I will.