Rolling Stone Case Study

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Figure 1 demonstrates Rolling Stone’s circulation trends in 2011-2014. It shows a drastic rise in digital sales, both at the newsstands and via subscription. And it witnesses a significant drop of the single physical copy sales, as well as a slight growth in the physical copy subscription sales. The figure indicates that in comparison to 2011 total circulation of the magazine in 2014 was bigger, with the total circulation in the years 2012 and 2013 falling behind. We can assume that price differences are the main reason, why the digital copy sales rise and the physical copy sales drop. The digital version of the magazine costs much lower than its print version. Combo offers (print + digital copy) serve as a countermeasure against the decrease…show more content…
And, on the contrary, if some media focus on the popular culture trends, such media will be referred to as mainstream media. In other words, different case studies show that alternative media usually report on counterculture, and mainstream media center around popular culture (Bailey, Cammaerts and Carpentier; Kenix). Rolling Stone remained an alternative media outlet until it rejected to cover the countercultural trends in the early 1980s. Being alternative media, Rolling Stone shared most of the theoretical characteristics attributed to this media category. The magazine was a counter-hegemonic critique of the mainstream. It focused on rock and roll and the subculture that arose from this music genre. Both this music and this subculture were not dominant cultural currents and thus were under-presented in the American mainstream media of that era. As a rock and roll magazine, Rolling Stone attacked dominant cultural practices and acted as a rebel against the conservative norms and values that existed in the American society back then. At the same time, Rolling Stone has never been radical by its nature. It only criticized the existing social, cultural, economic and…show more content…
media market clearly shows the substantial shift that the magazine has embraced over time. Due to the changing cultural standards in the USA, Rolling Stone has moved from covering the countercultural trends of the 1960s to covering the mainstream popular culture trends of the present time. The transformation of the magazine was voluntary and happened in line with the evolution of the American culture in the 1980s. On the whole, we can suppose that Rolling Stone’s conceptual shift is embedded into broader cultural processes that took place in the USA in the second half of the twentieth century. If we look at the beginnings of the magazine and at its current positioning within the American cultural landscape, we can we have observe that before the early 1980s Rolling Stone used to be an alternative media outlet writing about the American sixties counterculture. Since the early 1980s, the magazine has been a mainstream media outlet covering the American popular culture. The benchmark of the “countercultural” and the “mainstream” is taken from the cultural discourse that was present in the American society at a particular time period under

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