Being in print doesn’t have to mean that you’re behind the times.
Page 12 of Glamour’s July Issue is the beginning of a print magazine chock full of tech integration. Where she would ordinarily write her “Letter from the Editor,” editor-in-chief Cindi Leive asks readers to follow her and her colleagues on Twitter (@cindi_leive), announces giveaways “winnable on glamour.com,” publicizes a partnership with beauty startup Birchbox, and asks, “May I ask that you experience this issue of Glamour with a killer soundtrack playing in the background?”
Instead of a traditional column, she breaks up the page with online offers and exciting tech-savvy collaborations.
The killer soundtrack Leive suggests is, of course, Glamour-made. The Condé Nast publication partnered with social music library Spotify, resulting in playlists created by the magazine’s editors, celebrity trainer DB, and cover celebrity Julianne Hough (who predictably compiles only songs from her upcoming movie—boring!).
Other music mentions pepper the following pages of Glamour. In the corner of a spread featuring incredibly toned Olympic men swimmers getting out of the pool, Glamour recommends its “ultimate playlist of songs about hot guys.”
On its “Guilt-Free Zone!” page, which features lines like, “Hey, it’s okay…to judge a party entirely by how good you looked in the pictures,” the editors share a guilty-pleasures playlist. All the compilations come together at glamour.com/spotify.
This isn’t the first time a mainstream magazine and online services have teamed up, though it may be Spotify’s first true integrated effort. Men’s fashion magazine GQ is active on Spotify, having released a “Heard at New York Fashion Week” playlist last winter, and maintaining regular, short “Presidential Playlists.” The New Yorker pop-music critic Sasha Frere-Jones compiled the year’s top songs playlists in 2011 and 2012.
Glamour has taken the trend further by bonding one edition’s temporary community through the editors and guests’ musical tastes. Glamour’s fashion editor gets just as much of an opinion as upcoming British singer-songwriter Rita Ora. Songs range from ”MMMBop” by Hanson to ”Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, ”Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” by Bruce Springsteen, to ”Lights” by Ellie Goulding. Every reader can find a satisfying tune in Glamour’s collection, just as they hope every woman who picks up the magazine will find an intriguing section to read.
As print continues to collaborate with online, there are other ways magazines can bring music to their pages. Photoshoots always feature music, so why not let readers experience the soundtrack for themselves? Fashion magazines often give this information anyways (“Our cover star shimmied around in fringed booties to Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl in the World’”), so a playlist would take the reader’s imagined photoshoot scene to the next level. Writers could also show their readers what they listened to while crafting a featured article.
While links on paper sometimes seem pointless (who wants to type all those letters when you could be a click away on an online publication?), Glamour did well by collecting their playlists on one landing page. In future, they could insert QR codes to make the transition from paper to web quicker.
If magazines are meant to be absorbing, Spotify integration helps complete the engaging experience. With its July issue, Glamour has made a solid start meshing their traditional print medium with interactive online exploration.