Magazines

Rolling Stone dies, inmusic lives

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Rolling right into inmusic
The Chinese edition of Rolling Stone magazine has died a quiet death.

Frederick Yeung reported the closure on July 4 in the South China Morning Post, quoting a source at One Media Group, the Hong Kong company with several Mainland media investments. The source said "the Mainland advertising market still needs to be educated to accept such a new title with a mixture of content".

That's a little inaccurate: Rolling Stone was always going to be a dud because the rock and roll counter culture that gave the magazine its success in America simply does not exist in China — the American magazine's mixture of politics and music is also impossible to do here without risking being shut down. At the time of the magazine's launch in March 2006, your correspondent wrote that the magazine would never be popular here, but that it might succeed commercially because the international media buying agencies in China have a very bad picture of the print magazine sector, and thus often spend ad money on magazine brands that they recognize from other markets. Looks like your correspondent underestimated the media buyers.

Interestingly enough, the Rolling Stone editorial team, including chief editor Hao Fang (郝舫) are staying together to work on inmusic (音乐时空), a rock-leaning music magazine. The magazine is published by the holders of the publication license recently used by Rolling Stone.

Despite the fact that rock music is still a minority taste in China, Hao and his team might well manage to keep it going, and even make it popular and profitable — they no longer have to pay expensive expatriate salaries and licensing fees that were part of the operating costs of Rolling Stone under One Media Group. The magazine also seems to be completely focused on music, rather than trying to incorporate 'lifestyle' content.

The image reproduced above shows the the first issue of the new non-Rolling Stone magazine (July issue) and features pop rocker Pu Shu. The image was taken from Hao Fang's blog.

Note: According to a comment to a previous Danwei post by doug, "We're running an interview with the publisher, Robby Yung in the Asia Media Journal, in a week."

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There are currently 2 Comments for Rolling Stone dies, inmusic lives.

Comments on Rolling Stone dies, inmusic lives

Its Chinese predecessor "The World of Audio & Video" in the late 1980s and early 90s was much better imho. Looks like even Wang Xiaofeng, your favorite Chinese blogger, and a then frequent contributor, holds a similar view. With due respect to Hao and co., the current editorial team is not up to the job to some extent.

Why not just change back to its original name?

Anyone who buys Rolling Stone in the US for the music content is, almost by definition, uncool and out of touch. The political reportage IS the magazine. So Rolling Stone PRC would have to start with one leg already cut off, the other one hopelessly crippled.

You guys called it.

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