It sounds like a spoof story from a website like The Onion – but a fortnightly magazine launched today offering the internet, in printed form.
Swipe Magazine claims a distribution of 20,000 and mainly outside selected London Underground stations targeting Londoners aged 20-35 living and working in the trendier parts of the capital.
It has a full-time team of five, including four journalists, and is independently funded.
The title says it is launching because: “The quality and sheer amount of great content online today is incredible but the best stuff can be hard to find.” And it says: “People still love reading in print.”
It is the latest in a series of free magazines to launch mainly targeting London. Others include: Time Out, NME, Coach, Shortlist, Sport and Stylist.
London also two free daily newspapers: The Evening Standard and City AM.
Swipe says: “We work with a wide variety of online publishers – from major media brands to unknown bloggers – to showcase the finest writing, photos, stories, ideas, infographics and more that the web has to offer. The end product is a magazine that is varied enough to be enjoyed by the internet generation and of a quality and depth that stands up against any other magazine on the market.”
Partner publishers who are allowing their work to be reproduced in Swipe include: The Memo, music site Quietus, Business Insider and travel site Roads and Kingdoms.
Swipe ensures featured websites get a prominent plug and it also pays £100 per thousand words as a licensing fee. More than 80 websites are working with Swipe.
Publisher Tom Rendell said: “It’s a mixture of in-depth reporting, culture and first-person accounts. We leave out the celebrity gossip and clickbait which can irritate people online.”
The magazine does not work with bigger publishers such as Mail Online, Buzzfeed and the BBC – partly because, Rendell said, their content will already have been widely read.
Explaining the business model, he said: “People say print is struggling. But it is content creation which is the expensive part, such as sending people to report overseas. Because we are crowd-sourcing our content our overheads are very much lower.”
He said Swipe offers advertisers a cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience of ‘millenials’.