Three Entrepreneurs on Why They Kickstarted Print Magazines

Among the changes in the business landscape the past several years is a growing use of crowdfunding site Kickstarter to launch entrepreneurial projects, including print magazines.

[responsive]HOLO[/responsive]Cobus Heyl of FIPP notes that “it is interesting to find independent magazine media projects on the Kickstarter platform, more so to see more than 1,700 and learning that the top 300 have received some $4.5 million in pledges,” indicating the strong appeal of print magazines among the right audience.

Heyl interviewed three of the successfully-funded publishers, asking “why print?” Their answers echo sentiments we hear often when discussing the state of magazines in this multi-channel world.

“While digital media is all the rage, we felt that didn’t align with the ends we desired,” explains Kevin M. Louis of AAA Magazine in Tokyo, who reached 1644% of their original funding goal.

“Digital media is very, very disposable,” Louis continues. “You read it, scan it, then toss it and forget it. That isn’t what art is. We wanted to make a product that our customers would slowly peruse, analyse, and then come back to at a later date. They only way that would happen is with a physical magazine.”

The longevity issue was echoed by GFF Magazine’s Erika Lenkert and their gluten-free title.

“There’s so much quick, disposable media out there now, I personally craved something of beauty and substance … something you can put your hands on and immerse yourself in without the distractions and wormholes that come with digital media, something you’ll want to keep, showcase, and cook from over and over again,” Lenkert notes.

“This moment reminds me of the explosion in Indy record labels in the 90s,” says Greg Smith of HOLO. “Magazines that are open to this ‘horizon of possibility’ will have a better chance of surviving and flourishing.”

The tangible properties of this beautiful media offer something the digital generation craves, and they are willing to help fund these dreams to make them reality. That is a new kind of buy-in that speaks volumes about the power of printed magazines.