Rolling Stone Opens up the Archives (for a price)

Rolling Stone magazine has a long, rich history. Arguably, it’s the most important publication and resource in the music industry. Now, along with a website redesign comes a new business model, called Rolling Stone All Access. You can access every piece of their 43-year history through their website … if you want to pay for it.

While much of the online content will remain free, to access the archives you can pay $3.95 per month, or $29.95 for one year, which includes a subscription to the print magazine. A regular subscription costs $19.95.

If you’re serious about music and music history, this is a pretty nifty feature. According to the website, you will get, “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.”

In this day and age, the print industry needs every bit of revenue it can muster. And Rolling Stone is doing it right. Instead of cutting back at the expense of the readers, they are offering more – content that took decades to create and is of the highest quality. While most of the website will remain free, hardcore music fans should have no problem paying for a little extra. And, this fine publication gets a little insurance against a shrinking industry. That’s music to my ears. You can keep your e-readers – I like flipping actual paper when I read.