Recent visitors to the Artforum website may have noticed a little pop-up that informs you “From March 5 2013 the full content of Artforum’s magazine print issue will be available at artforum.com.”
Yes, Artforum, that august arbiter and longtime proper-website holdout, is finally taking its full issue online. Publisher Charles Guarino said the new plan will offer all the articles from an issue to subscribers a few months after it hits newsstands. “They call it a ‘paywall,’” he said in a phone interview.
Subscribers will also have access to the magazine’s entire online archive.
Artforum hasn’t been a digital holdout. There’s a robust daily website, and most of the print articles are distributed to online clearing houses like the Gale Group. They also have an iPad app.
“There’s a time for everything,” Mr. Guarino said of the decision to put the magazine’s articles online. In developing the plan, he said, Artforum had to make sure not to devalue the magazine, and its ever important ads, hence the lag time between when an issue hits stands and when it’s available online. Mr. Guarino estimated that it will generally take two months before a subscriber is able to access the contents of a new issue on the Artforum website. “We’re really looking to preserve the shelf life of each living issue,” Mr. Guarino said.
“We still rely on our print issue more than anything,” he added. “That is the mother’s milk.” At the moment there are no similar plans for Bookforum.