Imperica has now closed.
It is with a very heavy heart that we have done this. Our final, big offer is for a company to sponsor the site for a year, which would give us an opportunity to restart the magazine and pay our freelance writers. We have a figure in mind, which will be bigger than an individual donation, but very small for a corporate one. Drop us a line if you wish to discuss.
Below is the Q&A from our recent announcement as a reminder.
Why has Imperica closed?
– For the simple reason that we have run out of money. The paying readership is too small for us to make a profit and so while we have tried very hard to reconcile this, it’s basically impossible.
You have “closed” before. Are you going to reopen again?
– We’d love to reopen, and we’d love not to close at all. However, while we could find the funds before, it’s a much more difficult situation this time.
For how long had Imperica been going?
– It closed at 9 years and 365 days old; one day before its 10th birthday.
What will happen to the monthly magazine?
– The magazine, which ran for 6 issues, was part of Imperica and has also closed.
Can I help? Do you need volunteers?
– Probably not, but thanks very much for your interest.
What happens to your weekly newsletter Web Curios?
– Web Curios will continue in some capacity elsewhere.
Is your closure related to COVID-19? Every publisher is laying off staff or closing something at the moment.
– Not really. We faced this issue before COVID-19.
However, is this symptomatic of a wider problem?
– Certainly. In short, European media companies (including the UK) are seriously screwed. European media startups simply cannot deliver a growth-centric business and the larger companies need to merge and adapt urgently to scale. They are being totally eclipsed by the Silicon Valley-focused publishers in the US, who will in turn be totally eclipsed by Chinese websites and services in coming years. Europe is becoming a media wasteland and I am both frustrated and disappointed that this has been driven by inaction from all of the industry’s stakeholders.
How many articles/newsletters did you end up publishing in almost 10 years?
– Several thousand.
In closing the magazine after 6 issues, is that rather premature?
– Magazines have closed after fewer than 6 issues in the past. I was hoping that we could successfully replicate a New Inquiry-style model where revenue from the regular magazine would pay for articles, which would be published online for free, which in turn builds awareness of the magazine. However, that hasn’t really happened, and the magazine has always been considered as the last roll of the dice for Imperica.
I work for the Imperica marketing agency in Spain, or the Imperica electrical business in India. Can I buy your domain name / Twitter account please?
– Unless you can make a substantial offer that resolves the above issues, no.
I have always been rather confused as to what topics Imperica covers. Is there any thinking behind it?
– We started out by covering an intersection of arts, technology, and marketing before most other publications. I sort of wanted to create a European Edge.org, and this over time broadened out. The Magazine was the final “broadening”, as it were – covering pretty much anything contemporary but with a focus on the digital.
Should we be in a position to relaunch Imperica, then it will unrelentingly focus on digital / tech from a critical, socio-political perspective. Such a large operation doesn’t exist, particularly in Europe, and it is a necessary and urgent gap to fill.
Thanks very much for your interest over the past 9 years and 12 months. It has been tremendous fun. The writers, editors, interviewees, contributors and readers all receive, and deserve, my considerable and sincere gratitude.
Paul Squires, Publisher, Imperica / Perini