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Rolling Stone Relaunches Web Site — Finally

Magazine unveils sorely-needed online redesign

It was a long time coming, but Rolling Stone finally has a respectable Web site (website?) for its venerable brand. And one it’s hoping some subscribers will pay for.

The magazine launched the “redesigned, reimagined” RollingStone.com on Monday. As editor Will Dana explained in an introductory post, the new site is “cleaner and easier to navigate” and will eventually be augmented with music and video (“You’ll be able, for instance, to instantly listen to any piece of music you read about on the site”) and three new blogs (on pop culture, music and politics).

Jann Wenner’s site will also be giving subscribers “all access” to the entire Rolling Stone archives — all 43 years worth (“Every review we ever published, “ Dana wrote. “Every cover.”) — for $2.50 a month. (Non subscribers $3.95.)

Of all the consumer magazines that could get subscribers to agree to a fee for archive access, Rolling Stone is one of the few that has content that’s compelling enough to pay for.

Whether or not they do is an entirely different story.