Original hip hop magazine is victim of downturn

A title which claims to the world’s original monthly hip hop magazine has been forced out of print after 21 years.

UK-based Hip Hop Connection has become the latest victim of falling circulation and rising print costs, meaning the April issue will be its last.

Publisher and editor Andy Cowan said: “Advertising revenues since November last year really, really dropped and specifically since January this year we saw it was really, really low.”

The title is not completely lost: an 80-page digital version of the magazine will be available for 50p from a new website, www.hhcdigital.com, as a trial measure.

However, Cowan said this was a last-ditch attempt to keep the title alive. With a circulation of 20,000 – 25,000, the magazine had been in decline for some time.

“For the last couple of years we’ve been limping along really, issue to issue, quite often making a loss,” he said.

Having been associated with the magazine for much of its history, the decision to end the print edition was a tough one, Cowan said.

He said: “It was really pulling away from an emotional attachment for some time, but it was really a case of saying, ‘Well, you know, either we get into a massive debt which would never have been recoverable or we try and stop and think of another way of doing it.”

Infamous Ink, which has published the magazine since 2001 when it acquired the title from Ministry of Sound, has cut one of the title’s two journalists as a result of the closure. The title was originally published by Music Maker before a three-year spell at Future Publishing from 1996 to 1999, when it was sold to Ministry of Sound.

Subscribers are expected to be refunded directly by the publishers in mid-April.

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