Why Web-Forward Media Companies Are Turning To Print
The publication has always looked to the print magazine form as an inspiration for what could be published online, says Pitchfork Media president Chris Kaskie. In his eyes, the only aspect that truly distinguished Pitchfork from a magazine was that it wasn't tangible.
While they took inspiration from the magazine form, the Pitchfork team has also worked to redefine what it means to be a music magazine today, says Kaskie. Technological advances have expanded what can be done in terms of contextualizing and visualizing content within a web browser. "The browser was definitely a limitation, but then all of a sudden you're able use the tools in HTLM5 and things like that where you can totally rethink how we present our content, how we create it, and how we think about it. It used to feel like being in the browser was a detriment to the creative ideas that everyone here has, now it feels like we can do anything, but it's rooted, ironically, in some of the fundamental ideas of print design and the way in which print and long-form journalism is created."
Despite these advances, Kaskie says the impetus for producing a print quarterly comes partly from a romantic desire to contribute something “lasting in a physical sense” and “timeless” that celebrates what Pitchfork does online everyday, and which contrasts with the rapid pace of the internet. “Something that you want to keep and want to hold on to for a long time. Much like someone might think of a record… You open a magazine and you have these wonderful full-page-spread pictures or you are able to digest long-form content in a way that feels natural.”
The Pitchfork creative team worked long and hard to create this lasting object, says Kaskie. "The simplest way to describe it is something that you would want to put on your bookshelf. It's not for coffee tables and it's not for the trashcan. It's something you want to keep and collect. And the content inside you'll continue to return to. Calling it a book might be too far, but calling it a magazine in a traditional sense doesn't give it nearly enough credit."
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.