Podcasts are now magazines, magazines are what newspapers used to be, and music files are now…

economist audio edition

Audio version of the entire Economist magazine (90 sound files)

Two weeks ago I stopped subscribing to the NYT print edition. It was a slow downward spiral, at first I went from a whole subscription to the weekend edition. One of the main reasons why I kept up, just for the weekend was because of the magazine. While I still don’t think the online edition does the print version any justice I decided I could do with out the print version after learning on twitter that Janet Froelich was leaving the magazine. The fact that I learned about design news on twitter should give us all pause btw…

The reason for that preface is that I had a very small sum of money that I had budget to print media consumption that I could put elsewhere. I’ve always wanted to be a reader of the economist, the content can’t really be matched and they have great advertising. I follow the Economist on twitter and I think I saw a link from them mentioning that they now have the latest edition posted online. I spent the eight bucks to see what I would get.

It turns out that they’ve broken every story into an audio file, numbered and titled it correctly. The sound quality is great and the production value is really nice. The only issue is that it’s over eight hours. I think I started listening to it on Saturday and I just finished the whole thing today. I went from cover to cover, next week I would re-order things so I get the important stuff to me first, just in case I don’t listen to the whole thing.

As weird as it is for all the different types of media to be converging and mutating into each other, the control and ability to finish something like the Economist is great. Maybe there is a future for magazines as a better version of radio in the form of a music file.

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  • http://www.davidairey.com David Airey

    Nice insight, Michael.

    I only actually read the Economist when travelling, picking it up at airports etc., but if I could listen to it instead (and had to commute for work, rather than working from home), I reckon I'd grab those podcasts myself.

    A lot of 'ifs' there, but still.

  • http://thestrake.com/ Jason Long

    Great choice on picking up The Economist. It amazes me to think about how much work must happen behind the scenes to push out a weekly magazine with that much content.

    It's really a commitment to attempt to get through the majority of the writing (or audio edition) each week. I've subscribed to it for about a year now and I'm still refining my strategy. FWIW, I current ready everything from the beginning (minus the letters to the editor) and jump back to the Science/Technology section once I get to The Americas. I then work my way backwards and if I don't get to The Americas again, that's ok as that section is lowest on my priority list.