Paste Magazine is growing in a multitude of directions. In December, the New York and Decatur-based company announced two important developments: a substantial expansion of coverage with seven new sections, including theater, science and wrestling; and a return to print with Paste Quarterly.
Paste Quarterly will be a large format, 12″ by 12″ magazine, packaged with a music sampler which will be pressed on a vinyl record.
Josh Jackson is co-founder and editor-in-chief of this pop culture-obsessed publication, which ceased printing their monthly edition in 2010.
“So much has changed since we were last in print [in] the way we listen to music, and so much has moved online to streaming,” Jackson says. “So kids growing up today don’t own their own music; they just kind of rent it through streaming services.”
Jackson says the quarterly magazine will be very different from Paste’s website, which is updated with new content daily.
“There’s a timelessness to what we’re doing with the Quarterly,” Jackson says. “So much of it is the kind of thing we want for people to be able to go back to.”
Even the physical size of the magazine adds to the tactile experience Paste is striving for.
“When you flip that open, it’s like two feet of space to play in,” ” says Jackson. “We’re finding that’s a really fun playground.”
In addition to the return to print, Paste’s cultural coverage online has grown to include theater, visual arts, media, business, science, health and wrestling.
“Being an online property, there’s no page count holding us back,” Jackson says. “And so we’ve sort of followed our hearts there.”
Paste reports that their online traffic has grown tenfold since their monthly print publication ended. Jackson says that the magazine was done in by flagging advertising revenue following the economic downturn of 2008.
“Despite strong readership and our subscription base being fine, we just couldn’t survive that as an independent company,” he explains, saying that Paste Quarterly will not be reliant on advertising or be at the mercy of asymmetrical distribution arrangements. “Print has not died, obviously. Getting back into the print business, I wanted to avoid that altogether. We will have ads on a limited basis, but it’s certainly not dependent on that, it’s dependent on our readers.”
But more than anything, Jackson says he looks forward to bringing readers the experience of discovering new things through the quarterly publication.
“We’ve all had that experience where we flip the page in the New Yorker and start reading a story that is on a topic that we would never have Googled, and you get lost in the story,” he says. “With print, what you can do is really prepare a curated experience for your reader.”
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