The bi-monthly print edition aims to celebrate the brand’s 12th birthday and marks the magazine’s 100th issue. The last issue was published in November 2014, after which the brand decided to take some time out to “firm up” its identity and develop its intentions going forward.
The magazine, which will be sold for £6.99, is launched amid declining circulation figures, with British magazine sales falling 5.3% in the first half of 2015 according to ABC figures. Nevertheless, the brand’s managing director Alex Thompson is convinced there is still an appetite for independent magazines such as Clash.
“Digital has reached a saturation point, where people are echoing the need for a digital detox. Switching off is a beautiful thing and so our print edition will complement our digital offering. There is still a need to hold and feel a quality product,” he told Marketing Week.
But the switch back to print was also a considered editorial decision. Thompson explained: “We used to churn out a monthly issue in the same way that we now churn out 24 hour digital content as an industry. We’ve strategically chosen to go bi-monthly, as there is scope for measured, considered journalism, which has a much slower decay time.”
As other music titles like NME are focusing on digital and free publications, Thompson argues it “has never been more attractive” for Clash to return to the print sphere.
“Print journalism is steadily being eroded, so with our magazine relaunch we’re standing up to the degradation of the print industry. We’re hoping that this will be recognised by other publishers,” he said.
Despite the renewed print focus, digital will remain a priority. In 2016, the brand is relaunching its digital app, which will host new content with interactive elements such as live streams, social activations, downloads and videos.
Clash will also be introducing an ecommerce solution next year, which presents advertisers with an opportunity to reach the magazine’s music-focused audience.
“A Clash store will be introduced online, which will provide us with an opportunity to develop our business on from content. While content will be what we do first and foremost, I think new areas into the site will give readers an extra reason to be there and provide a real ecosystem,” he explained.