Last year, Jack Kelly, the CEO of Adva Mobile wrote a wonderful blog post about the resurge of bookstores in the peak of the age of technology. Just a few years ago, reports were expecting paper publishing industry to almost disappear, with the whole book consumption shifting to tablets and digital reading devices. It did not. To quote Jack Kelly:
“ No longer booksellers, a new breed of “literary entrepreneurs” doubled down on the core values that made the local independent bookstore valuable in the first place. They became a place of community, riding the community oriented localism that drives local craft beers, farmers markets, community radio and the like. They carefully curated to their audience – not only the books they sold, but repositioning themselves as “intellectual centers,” hosting events and convening people and ideas, introducing beer, wine, coffee and a host of ancillary craft gifts and products of interest to their clientele. Booksellers have adapted to the vast changes in their own industry. “
I encourage everyone to read the article here, if you haven’t yet. When finishing the article, Jack left us with a few notes on applying this model to the music industry by independent artists.
Just over a year later, we’re seeing the magazine industry resurrect as well. The reasons are similar to why vinyl or bookstores came back, but I would especially like to highlight a music magazine, So Young. So Young has been featuring underground artists for the last six years, with it’s DIY design and approach, to represent the DIY artists that are featured in the magazine. It looks like it’s done in someone’s bedroom, but this approach made it so popular from London to Tokyo.
The founders of the South London based magazine Sam Ford and Josh Whettingsteel say that what inspired them to start the magazine was a concert they saw a few years ago. They saw the band Palma Violets, and what they saw was the music they wanted to hear, rather than the bands being pushed out to us on mainstream music media magazines. They saw a community of fans gathered around the band, and they remembered the reasons they loved music so much when they were kids.
They also say that having a physical magazine in your hand feels more valuable than looking up a band online in a music blog.
Sam Ford, the co-founder of the magazine says that for him the value is the ownership. He says:
“You pick up a copy of So Young, you have a mini gallery in your hands alongside some interviews with your new favourite bands. You have something you can pick up, share around with friends, stick on your wall and have something that hopefully feels a part of you. It’s the same for vinyl and it’s the same for those band t-shirts that you never wear but can’t bring yourself to throw away. I think there’s a lot of value in that.”
Which brings me to point out the importance of selling merchandise. Not only it is a great source of extra income, but also it is something for your fans and superfans to hold on to. In advertising, likeability is defined as ‘something that the a person wants to keep in their life, as opposed to ‘throwing it away’. So this way, as artists, we can form unique connections with our fans. This kind of engagement goes a long way, and movements such as bookstores and So Young magazine are back to prove it to us!
Adva Mobile is a marketing services and technology company for creative artists. Using Adva’s mobile services, you can let your fans learn about your latest creative work, run contests, take surveys, reach out to your superfans and engage with them.
Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His new album ‘Aurora’ was released on October 19, 2018 and his debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify. In addition to being a musician, he regularly teaches workshops and masterclasses internationally. You can follow him on Instagram or Twitter, and for more information you can visit his website www.alpertuzcu.com