Pick up a free copy of SWIPE this morning as the worlds of print & online collide.
Between falling newspaper circulations, the closure of The Independent and the failed experiment that was The New Day, many people think that print is on the way out.
New online publications – like The Memo – pop up everyday as audiences swap columns for smartphone content, and tabloids for tablets.
But despite all this, today sees the launch a new print magazine – a print magazine with a difference.
You see, the new, free, carefully curated and sleekly designed SWIPE, offers you only the best of the web.
It’s even designed to feel “internety”.
London’s latest free magazine is a reaction to our inundated internet, say SWIPE publisher Tom Rendell and editor Barney Guiton.
“The internet offers more incredible content than we’ve ever seen before, but it’s hidden amidst click-bait, cat pictures and popup adverts,” Rendell told The Memo.
“With all these clamouring for your attention it can be really hard to find the remarkable content you want”
To solve this problem, SWIPE does all the hard work for you.
“We trawl the internet to produce a high quality print magazine which contains just the best of the web,” said Guiton.
Indeed, the team has already made partnerships with 80 publishers ranging from international new brands like The Memo, to niche music sites like The Quietus.
“A textbook example, would be Roads & Kingdoms, who do fantastic long-form travel reporting,” explained Guiton.
“They may spend thousands sending a fantastic writer to the heart of the Amazon jungle and we can publish that article alongside other special content across everything from business to fashion and food.”
SWIPE pays partners per word, but Rendell says they are more benefits to being in print.
“We want to help theses online publishers reach new audiences, especially if they’re brilliant but unknown,” he explains.
To appeal to millennial readers SWIPE not only plans to serve up engaging content, but to create an “internety” feel.
“When we talk about how we choose our stories it’s about asking is this clickable,” explained Rendell.
“This is really a magazine designed specifically for millennials and by millennials: It’s not being run by Fleet Street dinosaurs.”
To make sure that SWIPE gets into the right hands, today’s 20,000 copies will be circulated where young Londoners live and work, at stations, cafes, and popular co-working spaces.
“The number of free magazines that are picked up at London tube stations absolutely shows a clear appetite for something print but free,” said Guiton.
“SWIPE has an advantage in that content wise it’s vastly more interesting and exciting to our millennial audience.”
Despite the doom and gloom print landscape, the industry has never been more ripe for disruption, says Guiton:
“When people say print is dying or print is dead, I don’t think print has really been innovated yet.”
Unlike other print publications SWIPE saves money by outsourcing its content creation. The title will also have and online presence, and social media channels where it can share links to featured stories. The publishers are even already talking about which cities to launch in next (they’re thinking New York, Paris or Madrid).
Ultimately, however, print is about putting the content millennials care about first, said Rendell.
“Obviously a BuzzFeed feed listicle with moving gifs is way better online, but when you look at long-form reportage, or amazing photos, these are very difficult to do well on a phone or a tablet screen.”
“Nothing in technology yet has managed to mirror that reading experience of reading a magazine on the page.”
Kitty Knowles is a Senior Features Writer at The Memo. Kitty previously worked as an online journalist for GQ. She can be found tweeting @KittyGKnowles.