From now on, Words + Music will be an online-only magazine.
We’re turning the page completely from print to our more flexible, timely and fulfilling digital edition, bringing with it even more benefits for our members, licensed businesses and anyone interested in accessing interesting, high-quality content about the increasingly exciting and successful Canadian music scene.
The online-only edition will be more open and available than ever before, with opportunities for readers to comment on each story. They’ll also benefit from instant, worldwide distribution: the online edition is available and easily accessible to anybody in the world with an internet connection, on any platform (smartphone, tablet, laptop, home computer, etc.), anytime, anywhere.
You’ll be able to read much more timely stories, posted when ready.
The ratio of those SOCAN members desiring coverage in Words + Music to available editorial space in the print magazine was about 20-to-one, so sometimes even SOCAN members who were clearly worthy of coverage were unable to receive it. The advent of the online-only edition, with no space limitations, will allow us to not only cover more of these laudable SOCAN members, but also expand our coverage to include music users Licensed to Play by SOCAN. We’ll simply be able to bring you more information.
With the quarterly print edition, you had to wait three months before reading about your fellow SOCAN members, which could render some of the magazine content a little dated. In the online edition, you’ll be able to read much more timely stories, posted when ready, so that we’re even more current and relevant to the passing scene.
Our costs for the printed magazine, both the English and French edition (Paroles & Musique) – which include design, printing, postage, and other expenses – were very high (several hundred thousand dollars), and increasing every year. Except for contributor and photographer fees – which, while among the best in the Canadian music industry, comprise a very small portion of those costs – that money can now be put into our members’ hands instead.
The cost to the environment was far greater with the print edition as well. In 2013 alone, we printed about 1.6-million pages, sacrificing a significant number of trees. Online, we don’t have to destroy any of them, and we avoid the environmental impact of running a printing press to create more than 50,000 copies and ship them across our vast country.
For the past two decades, SOCAN has always embraced the digital world to better reach our members, in new ways, wherever they are. Our social media numbers more than 30,000 followers; our website (at socan.ca), digital magazine, (at socanmusic.ca), SOCAN blog (at socanblog.ca), and online annual report (at socanannualreport.ca) bring more news and information to more readers and viewers than ever; and we’ve also introduced mobile versions of our website and online magazine. Moving the magazine completely to online is just the latest step in our necessary adaptation to technological change. We expect that Words + Music online, which will be redesigned in 2015, will provide an excellent end-user experience.
There are those who, understandably, feel sentimental about holding a paper magazine in their hands. But paper is slow in reporting, expensive to produce, limited in editorial space, restricted in distribution, and environmentally wasteful. It only makes good sense to move exclusively into the online world, so that we can commit more time and resources into making the digital version great.
We’re closing the book on print, but the story continues, even better, at socanmagazine.ca. Thanks for being a part of it, as we turn the page to the next chapter.