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We interview the publisher behind WA’s new street press; scenestr

10 May

scenestr (WA) hit the street for the first time last Wednesday 3 May, providing a whole new mag chock full of WA goodies. It complements the existing street press titles in Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, and will be available online as well. Excitingly, WAM have our own monthly column, WAM’s World, which will feature local industry news of the month.

The Perth edition will be published every four weeks, thirteen times a year, coinciding with the publication dates in the other states. scenestr will be combining their market-leading, all-gloss, month-long format, 25 years publishing experience and partnering with experienced print and distribution suppliers in Perth.

The print titles are one arm of the digital-facing company which publishes scenestr.com.au. scenestr also publishes scenestr tv which produces its own YouTube channel and creates direct-to-social-media content such as this and this.

Gareth Bryant will retain oversight of music as National Music Editor while Jesse Chaffey remains National Arts & Comedy Editor; each responsible for both print and digital. Local editorial appointees will be announced at a later date. Founding publisher, Howard Duggan, who started the company in 1993 remains as Managing Director.


WAM’s Jake England had a chat with Howard Duggan (Managing Director) about the publication and it’s move to the west coast.

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Please share some background on scenestr and why WA music industry and music lovers should be excited for the launch of it here?
scenestr (as Scene Magazine) first appeared on the streets of SE Queensland in October 1993 as the dance, pop, urban, clubbing and fashion street press sitting alongside the then more rock-oriented titles, Time Off and Rave. 24 years on and my team and I are still here while other titles have variously been bought, sold or succumbed to digital disruption.

We hope music lovers will embrace us as we strive to engage with – and immerse ourselves in – the WA music and arts communities. We know the print medium is still important to many people and we’re privileged to be a part of the Western Australia media landscape.

Eyeball Media Enterprises is now the largest street press stable in the country. How will this national model benefit WA artists?
Emerging artists will find a voice – and exposure – in scenestr. We’d hope to form relationships with many of them and in turn we can parlay that exposure across our assets nationally.

With The Music and X-Press’ move from print into digital reflecting a general decline of print globally, what’s driven you to launch Scenestr as hardcopy in WA?

Our first foray into a national media model was in 2003 when we launched Scene Magazine [VIC]. One of the ideas then, as it is for us now – and others in between – is to offer economies of scale, one-stop publicity/marketing shopping etc.  However, that was 14 years ago and there are significant differences between the eras. For one, print is no longer king – but it’s still very much relevant. These days, there are no ‘street press wars’ per se… and the internet is a big enough pond that, while website rivalries exist, they are not as fiercely fought as the duopolies of yesteryear.

In 2017, 20 per cent of the Australian digital marketing dollar is being spent on Facebook and Google… that’s the current battleground, but don’t expect even that to remain a constant, either. It’s a challenging time for media globally. As I write, Fairfax journalists are on a week’s strike over another round of wholesale staff redundancies, which will see 25 per cent of their number axed from the payroll. Meanwhile Channel 10 has recently issued a statement to shareholders regarding its very viability.

Three years ago we redefined ourselves as a digital-first company and we’ve been developing that side of our business. But we keep investing in print because it’s been working for us as we marry traditional and new media on a national scale. To be frank, the impetus to launch in WA was simply that a vacuum existed. No grandiose pronouncements about the future except we believe we’re good at what we do and we’ll give it a red hot go.

What staff will be looking after the West Coast mag? And are you looking for local photographers, writers etc?
We are yet to appoint our WA representative; someone who will oversee our operations here. The role isn’t advertised – we’ll just know when we’ve found them. Yes, we’re looking for writers and photographers right now! Please write to Gareth (music) or Jesse (arts) at [email protected]

What’s the best way for WA bands/promoters/venues to get coverage in Scenestr?
Pick up the phone or send us an e-mail (all links at the bottom of our website) and tell us what’s up. We promise an enjoyable experience!

What else can we expect from Scenestr?
Our first edition featured a Perth International Comedy Festival supplement. It’ll definitely be obvious you’re reading the WA edition. We’ve been warmly welcomed by – and already working with – WAM, RTRFM and a host of other WA heavyweights – and we’ve only just started!

more-info-6READ THE DIGITAL EDITION

more-info-6READ WAM’S NEW COLUMN

Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.