Future: Bang closure is 'blip' on music plans

Sutcliffe admits Future overestimated the size of the market for Bang

Future will still continue to launch magazines in the music sector, despite the closure of Bang after only 10 issues, publishing director Andy Sutcliffe said this week.

The closure, which was due to disappointing sales, resulted in four editorial redundancies, including editor Dan Silver. Two journalists have been offered posts elsewhere at Future.

Sutcliffe said: “We overestimated the size of the market, which is a disappointment, but the reality is that, rather like Emap with Kingsize, we just weren’t selling enough copies.”

Sutcliffe said Bang’s launch issue had achieved its initial target of 50,000 but sales had since dropped to less than 20,000. “We had a run of covers of The Darkness, Blur, Coldplay and The Strokes, which are good artists for that sort of market, but we weren’t getting the 50,000 sales we needed,” he told Press Gazette.

Bang launched in February, named after legendary rock journalist Lester Bangs. Aimed at readers aged 16 to 24, it hoped to attract a new generation of music lovers who follow bands such as The White Stripes, The Strokes and The Darkness. Launch editors Crispin Parry and Danny Ford, who approached Future with the idea after the success of their independent music magazine Circuit, left the title after three issues.

Sutcliffe said huge record sales generated by bands such as The Darkness, who played at the magazine’s launch party, had not translated into the level of sales required by Future.

“There are very big record sales out there. The Darkness sold half a million albums very quickly, but that simply didn’t translate into magazine sales,” he said. “Whether this is a market that is genuinely more internet-savvy, downloading from websites and doesn’t feel like buying a magazine or Bang just didn’t hit the right chords with them, I wouldn’t say there isn’t a market – I just don’t think there was a market for Bang.”

Sutcliffe warned that other titles such as Bullit and XFM’s X-Ray, were likely to encounter similar problems, but stressed that Future was in the music sector for the long term.

“Metal Hammer and Classic Rock are core titles at Future. I hope we will launch or acquire more music magazines.

We are definitely in the music sector long term. It’s a blip on our plans, but it doesn’t mean we won’t launch in the future,” he said.

By Ruth Addicott

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