A Rolling Stone Gathers a Paywall

RollingStoneCom.jpgThe good news: Every issue of Rolling Stone since its November 1967 debut is now available online, for the first time ever. The bad news: It’ll cost you.

Rolling Stone launched a paywall Monday, with subscriber-only content including access to its archives, as well as in-studio concert series Live at RS and movie reviews from film critic Peter Travers. Users can pay $3.95 for a single month, $29.99 for one year, or $22.44 per year for two years. Much of the regular monthly content on the site will remain free-of-charge.

Wenner Media chief digital officer Steven Schwartz told paidContent:

This is not a case of putting something that existed online behind a paywall, because we’ve never offered access to our archives on the Web before. We’ll continue to offer a lot of content for free. We have Web editors who produce online-only content. For the most part, we recognize the differences in the platforms. It’s not pulling things back.


In a post titled Introducing the New RollingStone.com, Rolling Stone managing editor Will Dana wrote:

Here’s something we’re excited about: On April 19, we’ll be launching a redesigned, reimagined rollingstone.com. The new site will be cleaner and easier to navigate, and we’ll be augmenting our regular doses of daily rock news, photo galleries, and music reviews with new audio and video features — you’ll be able, for instance, to instantly listen to any piece of music you read about on the site, and we’ll be posting more performances by musicians who visit our offices. In addition, we’ll be debuting three new blogs: Rob Sheffield on pop culture, David Fricke on music, and Matt Taibbi on politics.

Another portion of the site, “Rolling Stone All Access,” will offer those who sign up the full contents of each new issue as it hits newsstands. And, for the first time ever, we’ll be granting All Access readers the key to the entire Rolling Stone archives. You’ll be able to lose yourself in every issue since we started back in San Francisco in November 1967. Every review we ever published, every cover, and the deepest, most thoughtful interviews with rock legends, from John Lennon to Lil Wayne, Bob Dylan to Kurt Cobain — and 43 years of journalism that has defined our times, from Hunter S. Thompson to P.J. O’Rourke to Matt Taibbi. Give yourself a few hours, and you’ll find yourself immersed in the stories of our era: the good times and the bad, the culture, the politics, and all the ridiculous hairstyles. We hope you’ll stop by and see us.