APN launched its weekly street-zine Volume on September 6, 2011 and started competing head-on with Groove Guide and a host of other online outlets. But the tough music/youth/pop culture media market has claimed another victim, because APN has decided to discontinue the print edition after just 33 issues—and on the first day of NZ Music Month.
Volume editor Sam Wicks, he of past Real Groove and Groove Guide fame, once again did a very good job of inserting the magazine into the scene's consciousness during its short existence, but he believes it was the lack of digital chops that has brought about its demise.
Volume content was published on the nzherald.co.nz, largely in the form of a wall of photos, but the brand wasn't particularly visible on the site (since its inception, and despite looking at the site almost every day, I didn't see Volume content on the home page once). The lively Facebook page and Twitter feed were the main online repositories for what was regarded by most as excellent content and, despite a joint venture between APN and Event Finder in 2008, there was no ticketing functionality either.
As is generally the case when a magazine folds, it has led to a host of commentary about the reasons behind it (avid readers can check here, here and here), but Wicks says he was really proud of what the team achieved and felt as though they were only getting started (the final issue, a Monty Python-esque editorial takeover by Homebrew, is one of its best, he says). Vimeo Video
"I’m planning to take some of the Volume content across to nzherald.co.nz – I don’t know what form this will take yet, but I’ll keep you posted," Wicks said in a letter to contributors. "Thanks for making this thing of ours something we should be really proud of. Over 33 issues we delivered amazing, ambitious content and followed through on the promise to deliver 'street press with teeth'."
Obviously, its main competitor Groove Guide will be celebrating quietly. Back when we announced APN's new venture, Juice TV's Grant 'Grunta' Hislop, who purchased Groove Guide from Tangible Media, said they had "a lot of love from the market on our re-entry and business is looking strong".
He admitted it would by naive to think there would be no effects from APN's arrival on the scene. But he said they were ready for any possible onslaught and he was confident they could continue to grow the business. And he'll presumably be even more confident now.