Imagine you are reading a music magazine, and as you flip three pages to get to a new story, the soundtrack on your stereo changes as well, corresponding with whatever you are about to read. That’s exactly how Pause, a new music magazine from Amsterdam-based music startup Shuffler.fm works — except without the paper, because Pause is an iPad app.
Shuffler.fm is slated to launch the first edition of Pause on Tuesday, and Shuffler.fm co-founder Tim Heineke told me that he wants to turn Pause into a quarterly iPad magazine, combining the best music writing on the web with the best tracks and music videos. To to so, Shuffle has teamed up with magazines and websites like Pitchfork, Fader, Fact, XLR8R, DUMMY and others.
The result is an interesting mix of stories about a secondhand record shop in Berlin, the rapper Drake, musician Four Tet and the economy of EDM. Issue number one is all about 2013, so you also find a bunch of best of-lists, including a list of the best K-Pop videos.
It’s very eclectic, and based on the magazine partners, there is a bit of a slant toward hip hop and electronic music — but if you are into that, it definitely works, with text and music going well together. At some point, you may find yourself wondering: Do I really want to read a story about a teen rapper I have never heard of before? And then the music starts playing, and you figure that yes, you do.
Even beyond the music integration, Pause is an interesting experiment, because it combines Flipboard-style aggregation with a much more curated approach, which actually works quite nicely. I asked Heineke what the magazines involved get out of this relationship, and he told me that it’s part of an ongoing relationship with these partners, which also includes Shuffler’s other apps that often directly load partners’ websites and augment them with music.
In Pause‘s case, there may not be as much referral traffic, but Heineke is already thinking about additional benefits, including the possibility to turn the now freely available app into a subscription-based magazine. “This is somewhat of a experiment,” he said.