Remember a time before blog sites such as ours, when the only source you had to metal news was through monthly magazines? It’s ok if you don’t, because for a while now, the web has proven to be a valuable, easier, and certainly cheaper source for all of your metal and news needs. Declining sales of newspapers and magazines are proof of this. However, Guardian.co.uk is reporting that classic rock and metal themed magazines have seen steady sales during the second end of 2010. For instance, Future Publishing’s Classic Rock magazine had a circulation of 67,695 in the second half of last year, only down 3.7% compared to the last quarter and 5% year to year, while stablemate Metal Hammer magazine had a circulation of 41,826. Additionally, Bauer’s Kerrang! magazine reported a 4.5% uplift in year-on-year circulation to 42,967, only falling 2.4% from the last period. Compared to NME, who declined by 16.4% in the second half of 2010, that’s considerably good news.
So what could be the explanation behind such steady sales for published magazines during a digital world? Well, one could argue that the U.K. rock magazines are giving the consumer more for the money (or pound in this case). Metal Hammer has teamed up with bands like Iron Maiden and Dimmu Borgir to provide fans with extra goodies along with the magazine, such as mouse pads and beanie hats. Classic Rock, though, has gone even further with artists like Slash and Motörhead by bundling magazines with the artists’ new album a month prior to its release. It’s hard to say whether these special fan pack editions are making fans come out in packs to pick up a copy, but it definitely provides more incentive. And for an industry (both print and music for that matter) that needs all the help in the world, that extra incentive could prove to be a helpful tool in generating more sales.