Another printing press has fallen silent this week as another victim of the changing times in print media adds to the toll of the struggling medium. Following on from June’s news that Brisbane street press, Rave Magazine, which ceased operations after nearly 1047 issues and 21 years of publication, comes news that regional music street press, Reverb Magazine is shutting down.
Originally appearing on the streets of Newcastle in July 2006, six years down the track, the free music and culture magazine provided readers with a monthly fix, circulating in regional locations in NSW like Newcastle, Central Coast, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and other regional areas.
After six years in operation however, Reverb Magazine will now be closing its doors; with the upcoming September issue marking the final print edition of the magazine.
A press statement issued by Reverb’s Publisher/Editor Kevin Bull, indicates that the decision to cease publication came from “a combination of the well reported changes within the print industry, and mounting business debts. Contracting advertising revenue has seen an inability for the business to service these business debts.”
Bull, who was almost singlehandedly putting the monthly magazine out with a small publishing staff and team of contributors, says that he will now “personally need to search for alternate means of income,” and thanks his modest publishing team, stating “for us to have been able to produce such a quality magazine is a major achievement… Reverb’s style, class and quality was the envy of streespress nationwide.”
As for the future of Reverb, Bull suggests that “looking forward, we will be looking at keeping the Reverb name alive online.”
As we here at Tone Deaf have previously noted, many of Australia’s street press publications have begun the migration to an online format, but in the music media survival of the fittest, Reverb is another unfortunate victim in a trend that doesn’t necessarily look like slowing.
Howard Duggan, publisher of fellow street press Scene magazine, has previously stated that readers can expect more street presses to fold, saying “the writing has been on the walls for print and it is simply a matter of time when all the titles are gone and the order that they disappear is of no consequence.”
The state of print media and music street press is so grim, that managing director of Street Press Australia Craig Treweek felt he needed to issue a lengthy statement entitled ‘Rumours Of Our Death Are Grossly Exaggerated,’ a six point dissertation that essentially shouted ‘we’re not going anywhere.’
Reverb’s closure is the metaphorical canary in the coalmine, the pressures of the modern business and fierce competition squeezing out the smaller, independent magazine sends another message that while music street press is not definitively finished, it’s certainly on the way out.
Bull finishes his press statement about Reverb’s closure by addressing the music fans and readers to whom he and his team provided a regional focus, “I really do hope that our small contribution to the local scene, and to your music experience has been enjoyable.”
The biggest loss here is to the local regions, whose local bands and venues have essentially lost their voice and print representative. The changes in the way people are consuming music media could have a potentially devastating effect to areas like the NSW regional locations that Reverb covered and catered to.
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