Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Melody Maker: Don't call it a comeback

Ten years on from the sudden closure of Melody Maker, IPC have announced a revival.

It turns out the motivation is less a desire to bring back a cherished brand, and more about protecting the name. A Spanish company, Nice Fashion & Music SL, had been trying to register Melody Maker as its own brand name. IPC objected, telling an IPO Judge that they're busily working on building a digital archive of the magazine:

The publisher said that soon after the magazine's closure, work started on the digitalisation of the Melody Maker archive, with a company employed to electronically scan every page of every issue of Melody Maker magazine, with a view to making the complete searchable digital archive available online under the Melody Maker brand.

IPC claims that any online archive service could be funded by advertising therefore providing users free access to historic Melody Maker artwork, including some of the Melody Maker logos. The publisher said the archive would be of interest to the general public at large as well as to the enthusiasts and academics.

"Soon after the magazine's closure", eh? Sure, there was seventy-odd years' worth of back issues to be scanning, but you'd have to raise a curious eyebrow that IPC have cheerily invested in a decade's worth of content production for a brand they're not actually promoting at the moment. That really is a labour of love. Given that they don't even bother to put most of NME online week-by-week, you'd wonder at the decision to spend so much time to make sure 1947's mid-June issues were available to the world at large.

It's not just scanning, it turns out:
Although the technical aspects of the archive are almost complete, IPC said it still needed to address some legal issues before making the archive available.

It's almost as if Press Gazette is having trouble believing this, too, as they rang IPC to check:
When approached about future plans for the Melody Maker brand, a spokeswoman for IPC Media: "Melody Maker is an iconic brand in the history of music magazines and we will continue to explore ways to make that historic content available digitally."

"We will continue to explore ways" sounds like that spokeswoman has somehow missed the ten-year scanning mission going on elsewhere in the building.

[Thanks to @pelicanhead for the story]