How Much Would <em>You</em> Pay For Yet Another Interview With Ryan Adams?

Oct 29th, 2007 // 16 Comments

kanyepaste.pngIs the question being posted by Paste magazine as it restructures its subscription prices around this crazy pay-what-you-will idea that everyone’s currently so enamored with.

“The campaign came about from a casual conversation at the Paste offices discussing the recent Radiohead campaign and the Jim Collins book, Good to Great. ‘We were curious to know what our customers thought we were worth. And what better way to find out, than to let them tell us,’ explained Paste President/Publisher Tim Regan-Porter. ‘While it’s certainly a bit unconventional, we also see it as a chance to get our product in the hands of people who could become lifelong fans. It’s been our experience that once people become familiar with PASTE, they turn into loyal readers,’ added Regan-Porter. Interested readers can order multiple subscriptions to Paste, as long as there is a valid mailing address, so even gift subscriptions are encouraged.”

In other words, you can now subscribe to a year’s worth of Paste for two bucks or $200 or two goats. (Okay, maybe not two goats.) Who’s bankrolling this little experiment? Who in the hell would even pay two bucks for a subscription to Paste? You have to give them some credit for being ballsy; most smart print mags wouldn’t dare ask a dangerous, potentially embarassing question like “what do our customers think we’re worth?” in 2007.

Paste Magazine Lets Readers Name Their Price for One-Year Subscription [Listening Post]

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  1. silkyjumbo

    I signed up for it, even though I find the writing style pretty dry. And I might have even overpaid ($1 an issue), but you do get a cd.

  2. Marth

    Isn’t this pretty much what Vice already does with subsciptions?

  3. Lax Danja House

    I thought magazines made most of their money from advertising and individual sales.

  4. drjimmy11

    If he finally admits that Bryan Adams is the superior artist and he should be flattered to be mistaken for him, than $100.

    Otherwise, nothing.

  5. unperson

    >>This would just inflate their circulation numbers and justify higher rates for advertisers, right?

    Which is the only reason they’re doing it, I’m sure. They’ve probably just hired an auditing firm to look at their circ figures and feel now’s the time for a quick, artificial pumping-up.

  6. Lucas Jensen

    Well, all of you are acting like mags make money off subscriptions. They just don’t.

    @G3K: why the hate towards NPR?

  7. Anonymous

    @Lax: that’s absolutely where they make their money, and I think Cloaca: you’re absolutely right, too. number inflation city.

    definitely a ballsy move considering they’re a mid-size pub with a particularly pigeon-holed demographic for a music mag. Is Paste the go-to mag for anyone?

  8. Lucas Jensen

    @taylor t-sides: Taylor, they are hardly mid-sized. In fact, I’d put their numbers up their right behind SPIN and right along with XLR8R. They probably have at least 5 times the numbers of MOJO or Magnet. Sure, circulation numbers are notoriously inflated, but I’m getting these from Burrelles, so take it up with them if they’re wrong.

  9. Cloaca

    This would just inflate their circulation numbers and justify higher rates for advertisers, right? Of course, that’s assuming people would even sign up for free (or $1, whatever) Paste subscriptions.

  10. Anonymous

    @Lucas Jensen: well, I was talking more about newsstand figures. I interned at a major pub a little over a year ago and they used to get newsstand sales figures for lots of mags every week. SPIN‘s numbers are TIIIIINY compared to even that of Rolling Stone, which is also rather small compared to a monster seller like Blender.

  11. Lucas Jensen

    A source close to the magazine (no, really!) told me this:

    Blender (2 mill)
    Rolling Stone (1.3-1.7 M, depending on Jann’s mood)
    Spin (about 500k)
    Paste (somewhere between 150k and 200k may be higher by now)
    Alternative Press (80-100k)

  12. Anonymous

    really? wow. the figures I saw were a lot lower all around, but the ratio is about right.

  13. burningstreets

    i paid $1:00 for the subscription. i would feel worse because i really enjoy the text, but their layout makes my eyes hurt like i’m reading encyclopedia britannica. like, the one my parents bought when i was 5.

  14. Lucas Jensen

    @taylor t-sides: Take it for what it’s worth, of course. I’ve heard that circulation numbers aren’t exactly an exact science.

  15. G3K

    Zero fucking dollars.

    Their demographic is the painfully white aging-hipster market anyway, right? I’m sure the same people who donate to NPR will keep Paste afloat, what with their bountiful disposable income and taste for equally disposable lite-folk.

  16. Stafford

    @Marth: I did some research on this, mostly because I had never checked and it intrigued me. The answer is kind of a yes and no, but more on the no side. Subscriptions, actual sent to your address type ones cost 30 bucks. But if you’re not too lazy and can get up and go to a record store, and i think American Apparel does too, you can have a free subscriptiondue to Vice’s free-ness at these store. This could potentially involve going to American Apparel though, which always leaves me feeling uncomfortable for whatever reason.

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