seen those “Power
of Print” ads in
food, travel, and
news mags, reassuring
magazines are alive
and well in this age
of being able to
read Pynchon novels on our phones. I get asked fairly
often whether Keyboard may go digital-only, so I
wanted to share two recurring experiences that give
me confidence we won’t be giving up the analog
warmth of print anytime soon.
First, my job includes getting time out of, well,
rock stars. The chief gatekeeper on this quest is the
publicist, a creature that’s usually 20-something, ultrahipster,
and eyeballs-deep in social media—the very
demographic pessimists say is driving the decline of
print. If that’s true, though, then why does nearly every
publicist (who doesn’t already know Keyboard)
inevitably ask me, “So, are you in print, or just online?”
The emphasis is almost always theirs, and when I
answer “print, monthly,” the gate almost always opens.
Second, a lot of readers have told me that the first
thing they do when Keyboard arrives is flip through
the ads to see what’s new. Moreover, readers who hunt
back issues say they love the vintage ads. Ads people
actively seek out? Not crazy talk—print. By contrast,
an ad that interrupts what you’re doing on the computer
just makes you mad at whoever put it there.
That’s why I’m bullish on our serving you and
your music in print and online, and very much looking
forward to new ways in which we’ll do this in
the year ahead.