Rumours Of Our Death Are Grossly Exaggerated: Publisher's Note

28 June 2012 | 4:34 pm | Staff Writer

An open letter from our Publisher in a week of upheaval for street press.

For more than 20 years in all states of Australia punters have been able to grab a copy of the free street press each week to read interviews and reviews, scour gig guides and plan their weeks and weekends. If you read the media press this week you would think this is about to end. This, alongside the doom and gloom espoused by Fairfax and News Ltd, has led us to clarify the future of street press in our eyes and more specifically the future of Street Press Australia.
Firstly, let me assure you that for as long as the current directors are at the helm we will continue to produce the printed magazines on a weekly basis and these are the reasons why:
  1. We Are Free - supported by advertisers, but in control of our circulation. We know our publications are read we know the readers would like even more papers on the street. We do not face the same issues as our daily counterparts as no purchasing choice is made. Our content is available across multiple platforms and will remain free wherever you read it.
  2. We Are Relevant - ask any band, label or advertiser. There is something special about print and in our eyes the printed word, or the online word covered by print journalists, carries more weight than simply 'online content'. Showing someone a printed article still has more kudos than sending them a link to some far away website.
  3. We Are Facing The Challenges – Street Press Australia understands the need to provide a multi-platform environment for our content, whether it be the iPad editions, the launch of across web and mobile or other platforms (stay tuned for a major announcement in August), Street Press Australia is committed to producing and distributing content to as many readers that we can access.
  4. A Digital Strategy – since launch has allowed us to extend our coverage and reach into new markets that have been restricted by current print publications, but is driven by the history and ethos of the weekly mags. The digital world means that we can take the written word and allow it to come alive digitally, Tracks embedded in reviews on the iPad, exclusive footage shot by us of up and coming, and established, bands all adds to what usually starts with the written word. Major up-to-the-minute news published to the site and one of Australia's leading entertainment industry daily newsletters are ensuring that the group, and the magazines, stay relevant for many years to come.
  5. Multiple Publications – Street Press Australia is not beholden to the whims of a single market our national reach ensures that we can ride the bumps and waves of single-state publications.
  6. We Will Change – In the background and boardroom we are constantly evolving and looking at all our media to ensure each piece of the puzzle remains relevant, especially print. The site will develop, and the papers will change but this will be led by the readers - one thing the digital world has given us greater access to is incredible analytics. More than ever before we can define what is relevant and what our readers and users want.
We know the market is changing, sometimes daily, but we are excited by the changes ahead and what is possible. We believe we have put in place a media business that can grow and prosper, facing the challenges ahead. Most of all we are certain that the future of this business is underpinned by producing quality street press in print on a weekly basis. 
Alongside this we have a team of incredible staff and freelancers who each week bust their guts to produce our content. In the last 12 months we have paid over 270 individual freelancers to write pieces for us - it's not a lot of money as we are street press, but it gives each of them a published piece one that we hope allows them to forge a career in music journalism. With the advent of theMusic we can now offer more and more aspiring writers the opportunity to be published.
Are times tough, yes they are and unfortunately street press in print is suffering from the bad publicity surrounding other press and the challenges that face our partners whether it be venues, artists or labels. But like any industry that suffers a decline, those that face the challenges head on and embrace them will survive.
In the coming weeks and months we will be launching theGuide - which will be Australia's premier gig site and app,  we will be providing unprecedented coverage of two of Australia's major music events plus we will continue to publish countless features, reviews, and news across all our platforms and, most importantly, we will continue to support the Australian music Industry from the indiest of bands to the largest label.
In the words of a fellow publisher "Street Press is dead" but perhaps added to this should have been "Long live street press."
Craig Treweek - Managing Director, Street Press Australia