Rolling Stone Letting Readers Choose the Cover

For the first time ever, Rolling Stone is letting its readers decide which band will grace the cover of an upcoming issue. Readers can vote online from a selection of 16 bands that were chosen by the magazine’s staff. Once the bands are whittled down to eight – four by reader votes, four by editors – those bands will record two songs and videos in collaboration with Atlantic Records.

From there, the bands will be subjected to another round of online voting, eventually ending with two bands who will perform at the Bonnaroo music festival in June, while also having their music videos online for a final vote. The winner will be announced in August, and along with appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone, will be signed by Atlantic Records.

FishbowlNY completely endorses this idea. It’s a fantastic way to engage the magazine’s readers and get people talking about Rolling Stone. We don’t see how this could be anything but a positive for the magazine. And just to get you excited about the contest, check out this great quote from Matt Mastrangelo, Publisher of Rolling Stone:

American Idol is about finding the checkout girl at Wal-Mart. What we’re about is supporting great bands that have been working five or six nights a week at the Bowery Ballroom, or the Highline Ballroom or Mercury Lounge.

No offense to checkout girls at Wal-Mart, but that’s good stuff.