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Rolling Stone Redesigns, Puts Decades of Archives Online (for a Fee)

rolling stone archivesAfter covering everything from The Beatles' invasion of America to Lil' Wayne's rise to hip-hop royalty, Rolling Stone is now offering 43 years' worth of published material on its Web site -- for a price, of course. That's every issue ever printed of the legendary magazine at your fingertips, amounting to a digital roadmap of music's journey from the blues to rock-and-roll and beyond.

This "All Access" service, launched in tandem with a complete redesign of the site, will cost you $3.95 a month, or just $2.50 a month if you buy a one-year subscription to the print edition. It gets cheaper with a two-year subscription -- at just $1.87 a month. If you're already a Rolling Stone subscriber, the service is free; you need only sign up for it. The magazine is also revamping its site by offering its visitors much more video and audio content, some of which will remain free.

While much of the site's content will remain freely accessible, the pay wall will encircle the magazine's archives. The days of free online content aren't numbered just yet, but the two-tiered Rolling Stone may be the shape of the business strategy to come. It remains to be seen if rock fans will sign up, but charging for access to content that was formerly available only in your dad's basement doesn't seem too crazy. Those King Crimson interviews circa '74? Priceless.

Plus, we'd probably pay twice as much to read old issues of Rolling Stone. You know, back when it was actually reporting on good music -- rather than just slapping those 'High School Musical' kids on the cover. [From: AFP/Yahoo! News, via: Mashable]

Tags: deathofprint, journalism, magazine, media, music, Rolling Stone, rollingstone, top, web