Created in the Corridor: Premier Guitar

The October 2017 issue of Premier Guitar magazine pictured with previous editions.

When you think of the publishing world, New York City or Los Angles might come to mind. But there’s an international music magazine respected by both professionals and hobbyists, Created in the Corridor.

“Our October issue is our biggest one and we just finished that. It’s like 280 pages almost, ” said Shawn Hammond, Chief Content Officer for Premier Guitar Magazine.

The newest edition of the Marion-based publication is all about pedals, something you may not relate to but consider who reads Premier Guitar. “Hardcore guitarists are really into gear,” explained Hammond. They love their guitars and their amps and their pedals. They’re obsessed with it; at least most of our readers are.”

Readers who can be found all over the world, insisted Patricia Erenberger, the magazine’s owner. “Mexico is very strong. Venezuela actually is very strong.”

A media investor, Erenberger bought the magazine with her husband in 2005 when it was called Musicians Hotline and based in Fort Dodge. They moved the operation to Marion and two years later changed the name. Premier Guitar was one of the first to convert to a digital magazine and then, of course, there’s the website.

“What we really feel is the reader will read and consume information where they want,” said Erenberger. We put all of our content on all of our platforms and let the reader decide how they want to take ahold of that information and use it.”

Each issue of the high-quality print magazine features about a dozen gear reviews, several artist interviews, fifteen regular columns and new this year, a few musical charts. Online, there are lessons and a ground-breaking video series called “Rig Rundowns.” Premier Guitar reporters go backstage before performances and talk with guitar and bass players who reveal the gear they use on the road. Hammond says the series is world famous. “We’ve got about 4,000 videos up there, 330,000 subscribers and to date, we have about 140,000,000 views of our videos,” said a proud Hammond.

Most of the videos are produced at Premier Guitar’s Nashville offices. The company also has employees in California, Illinois, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. Still photography, for the most part, is done in Marion and the company’s art director, Meghan Molumby, shares the credit for the mag’s clean, modern look. “Kristin--God bless her-- my photo editor does an amazing job and Ben with handling a lot of the digital stuff. He does help me out on print when I’m at deadline for that,” said Molumby.

Marion is also where manufacturers send their newest equipment to have it reviewed. There is a lot that goes on at the magazine’s Marion headquarters in collaboration with Premier’s satellite locations. And the advertisers seem to like what they see.

“We have something like 43 percent of the market share which is about double our closest competitor,” boasted Hammond. “And these magazines –I’m not going to name them—but they’ve been around 40, 50 years.” Erenberger expanded on that while explaining some advantages of working in the Corridor. “Our competitors are in New York City. I know their overhead prices are way high compared to ours so it keeps us competitive in the market and helps us really do the things we want to do. And you can find good people in Marion, Iowa.”

Premier Guitar’s print publication has a circulation of about 25,000 and the website attracts up to 1.5 million unique visitors each month. There is also an app available and you can find more information under the following links:

Premier Guitar Digital Magazine

Premier Guitar Website

Premier Guitar App

Premier Guitar Newsletter

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