Just as easily as you can download a single to listen to, you can now download a magazine to read. Fader magazine has made its entire summer music issue available for download on iTunes, in what it says is a publishing first. The full issue is free to download as a PDF file, which offers a digital copy of every page — article and ads — in the magazine.
It's accompanied by a 47-minute podcast featuring music covered by the magazine.
The leap off the page and into an area of the Web typically reserved for audio files, is one considered natural by Fader, which has covered emerging music since 1998.
Rob Stone, co-founding publisher of the magazine, hopes the effect to be similar to how free downloads help build buzz — and eventually sold records — for Eminem years ago, or the Arctic Monkeys more recently.
"This is going to help expand our audience, as opposed to cannibalize our newsstand sales," Stone said Wednesday.
Stone, who began his career at Arista Records, recalls the resistance the music industry initially showed to the Internet and new digital technologies.
"I've always been of the belief that you need to embrace it and see where this thing can take us," he said. "It just opens endless possibilities of building a connection."
The print version will still be Fader's focus, but Stone believes the days of magazines existing purely on paper are over. For a brand like Fader that often writes about new, potentially hard-to-find music, a podcast helps readers get their ears to it.
In the future, Stone expects advertisements to be linked to the product's home Web sites, or a story to link to a related interview. That, of course, isn't much different than what your standard Web site provides, but it still offers a newly direct relationship between a magazine's print copy and its digital version.
Stone isn't sure if Fader will continue to be free to download, adding: "We're figuring that out. I think we're in uncharted territory in that regard."