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#2576353 - 02/28/14 09:01 PM I'd pay $60/year for a revamped Keyboard magazine...
Sundown Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 914
Loc: UNITED STATES

Hey all,

I subscribe to Keyboard, but truth be told, I subscribe for what Keyboard once was, as opposed to what it is now. The magazine played such an essential role in my growth as a musician, that I feel a duty to try and pay that back. I still read the magazine, but it has become a thin pamphlet. There just isn't much content in the magazine anymore, or much content that interests me.

The internet has changed everything, and magazines must play a different role if they are to survive. Gear reviews are no longer the sole domain of the magazines. When an instrument hits the market, there are forums and user reviews all over the web, along with videos and sound examples. What I still like about Keyboard is that it focuses on playing. Sound on Sound is arguably the best for gear reviews, but only Keyboard covers technique and the art of playing.

For me personally, I would pay considerably more for a thicker, revamped Keyboard magazine. I would love to see more artist interviews, more articles and features on playing, and a more advanced, expert review section. For the amount we spend on gear, I would gladly pay $60/year for a more comprehensive magazine. I pay that much for the U.S. edition of Sound on Sound, and for what it is (a great audio/technology magazine), I get what I pay for.

I may be the only one willing to pay more, but I doubt it. If Keyboard were to reinvent itself and go upscale, I think it would still sell.
_________________________
Sundown

Just Finished: Two Button Press
Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361
DAW Platform: Cubase

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#2584442 - 03/26/14 04:09 PM Re: I'd pay $60/year for a revamped Keyboard magazine... [Re: Sundown]
Stephen Fortner Moderator Offline
But who is number 1 ? ...
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 2689
Loc: Oakland, CA, UNITED STATES
Hi Sundown,

Sorry I haven't been able to reply sooner. In terms of the magazine I'd like to be in charge of making every month, I could not agree more. I have long argued internally that to compete in the Internet age, a niche/enthusiast magazine such as Keyboard needs to focus on giving readers what they can't get elsewhere. For my money, that comes down to long-form, deep gear reviews that focus on using the products at multiple gigs and studio sessions, access to artists who open up about their technique and creative process, and music lessons for several genres and all levels of ability, every month.

The business reality, however, is that like most U.S.-based magazines that have been around awhile, we're owned by a large corporation that answers to stakeholders. (In our case, a private equity firm.) Thickness is dictated by an algorithm based on ad revenue, and that kind of thing is decided far above my pay grade.

A common-sense response to this, of course, is to say, "But if we have a higher-quality product, more people will read it, and more companies will be inspired to advertise." In fact, that's exactly what I and most editors you'll ever meet believe. The irony is that for the very reasons you list (blogs, videos, etc., all of which are available to readers for free), the business managers are very bearish when it comes to any argument resembling "If you build it, they will come." They're just not that risk-tolerant.

All that said, we strive every month, and within the resources and space we have available, to make a magazine that has a little something for everyone: rock, pop, jazz, EDM; reviews, lessons, artist profiles. And I certainly hope we're giving you $15 per year worth of good information. (My own priority as an editor is to have fewer articles that go more in-depth in each issue, as opposed to a bunch of fluff just for variety's sake.) It may take three or four issues of Keyboard to cover what we'd like to do in one, but I really do believe the stuff is there.

If you have more specific suggestions I'd be happy to hear them. Very best regards,

Stephen Fortner
Editor in Chief
_________________________
"I'm just a confused musician who got sidetracked into this damned word business..." -Hunter S. Thompson

Stephen Fortner
Principal, Fortner Media
Editor at Large, Keyboard Magazine
Contributor, Gearslutz.com

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#2588804 - 04/13/14 09:06 AM Re: I'd pay $60/year for a revamped Keyboard magazine... [Re: Stephen Fortner]
Sundown Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 914
Loc: UNITED STATES
Hi Stephen,

Thank you for the detailed reply. I read through my original thread, and in hindsight it was a bit harsh. That was certainly not my intent, and I simply want the magazine to be the best that it can be.

Thanks again for the work that you and your team do.

Todd
_________________________
Sundown

Just Finished: Two Button Press
Working on: The Jupiter Bluff; Fishing in Kingsbury
Main axes: Kawai MP11 and Kurz PC361
DAW Platform: Cubase

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Moderator:  Stephen Fortner