Paste returns to paper with ‘a visual feast’

Paste, a Decatur-based online arts and lifestyle brand covering music and pop culture, is returning to print after six years of being available only online. Paste, which existed as a printed version called Paste Magazine between 2002 and 2010, launched its new quarterly print publication, Paste Quarterly, Dec. 5.

Josh Jackson promises the new Paste Quarterly will be unlike other magazines. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Josh Jackson promises the new Paste Quarterly will be unlike other magazines. Photo by Kathy Mitchell

Given today’s increasingly digital media environment where many publishers are leaving print for all-online content, it’s significant that Paste is returning to the print industry,” the publishers stated in the announcement. 

“We’ve enjoyed the transition to digital, but to celebrate our growth, we wanted to offer something special and tangible to our readers—something for when they have time to unplug from life, put on a great record and curl up with a luxurious print magazine,” commented Josh Jackson, co-founder and editor in chief of Paste

In addition to its magazine-format online version, Paste in September 2015 launched Paste Radio, with eight streaming stations of exclusive live tracks, according to its website. Paste Cloud, a platform for audio and video—including artist-generated content—has, the website notes, “the largest collection of curated live music performances on the internet—over 85,000 tracks.”

While Decatur is Paste’s world headquarters, it has a creative office in New York as well. “Most of the editorial staff is here (in Decatur),” Jackson said. “Our Manhattan office is primarily our music coverage, including the studio where bands come in every day to record video sessions. And we have staff and freelancers all over the country and, really, the world. But the heart of our operations—and my desk—is right here in Decatur. 

“My co-founder Nick Purdy, who left to go start Wild Heaven Beer, and I discovered Decatur when we’d drive in from the suburbs to go see shows at Eddie’s Attic (a live music venue for aspiring and accomplished performing songwriters). We both moved post-college and returned post-sojourn to other parts of the county. It’s an amazing place to live and raise a family and a really supportive place to launch a national entertainment and lifestyle magazine,” Jackson continued. 

He noted the online brand has grown significantly in the past six years, with 7 million unique web visitors in November 2016. Paste’s success, he said, is attributable to great writing. “A lot has changed with the transition from print to digital, but one thing that will always matter is having great writers tackle subject matter with enthusiasm and insight,” according to Jackson.

Jackson said Paste Magazine will not be like most other publications. “First, it will be printed on thick 12-inch-by-12-inch paper, so the format will be different. We want every spread to be a visual feast and every story to be something you’ll remember later. We cover music, movies, food, drink, travel and all sorts of different subject matter. But I want every story to be gripping whether it’s something you’re knowledgeable about or not.”

Explaining the decision to make the magazine a quarterly, Jackson said, “We want this to feel special when it shows up in the mail. There’s no substitute for the timeliness of digital content, but sometimes you want a more curated collection of stories that you didn’t even know you wanted to read—stories that surprise and delight.”

 Jackson said he expects Paste readers to appreciate the way it stands out from other periodicals. “Our audience is anyone who enjoys the best entertainment and lifestyle trends, from art house movies to really well-made blockbusters, good food, good music, good stories.

“I imagine our typical Paste Quarterly subscriber won’t get as many magazine subscriptions as they used to, but they’ll savor the ones they do,” he said. “They’re busy, but they relish those times when they’re able to set aside the craziness of life and engage in something they love.”

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