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covermount items, covermount rights
Covermount sometimes written cover mount is the name given to storage media containing software and or audiovisual media or other products ranging from toys to flip-flops packaged as part of a magazine or newspaper The name comes from the method of packaging; the media or product is placed in a transparent plastic sleeve and mounted on the cover of the magazine with adhesive tape or glue


  • 1 History
    • 11 Demo covermount discs
    • 12 Full product covermount discs
  • 2 Price of covermount storage media
  • 3 Problems with covermounted products
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References


Audio recordings were distributed in the UK by the use of covermounts in the 1960s by the fortnightly satirical magazine Private Eye though the term "covermount" was not in usage at that time The Private Eye recordings were pressed onto 7" floppy vinyl known as "flexi-discs" and "flimsies" and mounted on to the front of the magazine The weekly pop music paper NME issued audio recordings of rock music on similar 7" flexi-discs as covermounts in the 1970s

The covermount practice continued with computer magazines in the early era of home computers In the United Kingdom computer hobbyist magazines began distributing tapes and later floppy disks with their publications These disks included demo and shareware versions of games, applications, computer drivers, operating systems, computer wallpapers and other usually free content One of the first covermount games to be added as a covermount was the 1984 The Thompson Twins Adventure1

Most magazines backed up by large publishers like Linux Format included a covermount CD or DVD with a Linux distribution and other Open Source applications The distribution of discs with source programs was also common in programming magazines: while the printed version had the code explained, the disk had the code ready to be compiled without forcing the reader to type the whole listing into the computer by hand

In November 2015, The MagPi magazine brought the concept full circle and attached a free Raspberry Pi Zero on the cover, the first full computer to be included as a covermount on a magazine

In other places, such as Finland, covermounts on computer magazines never caught on Instead, popular Finnish magazines such as MikroBitti offered subscribers access to an exclusive BBS via modem, and later via the World Wide Web

Adding audiovisual media as a covermount has started with music magazines adding covermounts in the form of sampler for promotional uses, using compact cassettes as a storage medium The cassette was in the end replaced by the compact disc

Apart from magazines also newspapers have discovered the covermount and started to add compact discs to their publications

Magazines are also including non-storage media like toys, games, stationery sets, make up, cross stitch kits and whatever the publisher believes will help the sales of their titles

In the United Kingdom, many television-related "partware" magazines magazines aimed at collectors which build up to a complete set over months or years have been launched in recent years, with covermounts containing episodes of the subject show such as Dad's Army, Stargate SG-1 or The Prisoner

American musician Prince is known for offering studio albums free with various newspaper publications His 2007 album Planet Earth was the first to be given this treatment, in the United Kingdom, in partnership with The Mail on Sunday His new album 20Ten was released in 2010, in Belgium, under the same circumstances, with the same happening for the album with other publications across Europe Pop rock band McFly too released a covermount album, which was Radio:Active their fourth studio album Other artists known to release covermount albums are UB40, Peter Gabriel, Calvin Harris and Soulwax In April 2007, EMI licensed the Mail on Sunday to cover-mount 225 million copies of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells shortly before the rights on it were due to revert to him, something about which the artist was not best pleased2 The NME have also had a long history with covermount releases, from the influential cassette compilations C81 anD C86, mix albums like NME Dust Up, mixed by The Chemical Brothers, and Beat up the NME, mixed by Fatboy Slim, as well as albums in which you would have to send a token to the NME in exchange for the covermount release, including Capital Radio by The Clash and Ally Pally Paradiso by BAD II

Demo covermount discsedit

Demo CDs

The initial purpose of covermount discs was to distribute demo versions of video games Initial magazines, like Amiga Format or ST Format had one or more floppy disks with demos of upcoming games, but the fragility of the media and the increasing size of demos made publishers turn to compact discs, which were cheaper to produce, more resistant to damage, and had over 300 times more capacity CDs remain the most common storage media, but in the past several years, demos have grown from mere 50MB files to 500MB or larger This discourages magazines from distributing most of the larger demos, unless the magazine has an exclusive distribution agreement or the title is highly anticipated While in 1997 a CD could carry over 15 demos, in 2005 the typical CD has 5 or fewer This has led some magazines to insert a second CD, or to use DVD media instead

Covermounts came late to the world of video game console publications Since nearly all 8-bit and 16-bit consoles were cartridge-based with the exceptions of Sega's Mega-CD and NEC's PC Engine CD, covermount demos only began appearing in 1996, with the official Sega and PlayStation magazines

Full product covermount discsedit

full versions

The trend of offering full versions appeared in the mid-80s, when magazines such as Your Sinclair and Amstrad Action put full versions of software, usually games on their covertapes These games, provided by distributors from a list of games with lesser commercial value, are also often found in budget range labels, and can range from older but highly regarded titles to unknown titles with little shelf space As access to internet gaming websites such as GameSpot or IGN grew, so did the importance of having a strong covermount Others, like PC Format used to distribute full versions of unknown commercial software, with a beginners' guide in the printed version

Sensible Software made several games for distribution with Amiga Power, like Sensible Massacre uses Sensible Soccer graphics, where the player throws grenades at Dutch players, following the loss of England against the Dutch in the USA'94 qualifiers or Sensible Train Spotting related to the hobby, the last game developed by the company for the Commodore Amiga

Games redistributed by covermount occasionally have problems if the originals were fitted with copy protection measures If a buyer tries to apply a patch or update, there is a high chance of the game not recognizing a covermount CD, as they are often reprints and lack the copy prevention sectors

Software publishers, both then and now, are often against the overuse of putting software on the covers of magazines as they see it is deflating the value of software

Price of covermount storage mediaedit

Although tagged as "free", covermount discs sometimes increase the price of a magazine Magazines that carry discs can cost as much as double the price of other magazines without them, even if these magazines have more pages The "free" label serves as a dissuading factor in retailers stripping discs and selling them separately To prevent theft of the discs from the magazine covers, retailers sometimes remove the discs anyway, keeping them behind the counter to be given to a customer upon purchase of the magazine

Problems with covermounted productsedit

Software added as covermount to computer magazines may sometimes not be secure A fast-spreading medium, computer magazines can output over 10,000 discs in a matter of days In the days before internet connections were commonplace, one of the fastest methods by which a computer virus could spread was to be included inadvertently on a coverdisccitation needed Although discs are thoroughly scanned and carefully assembled, there have been cases of discs being distributed with viruses, damaging the credibility and reputation of the magazinecitation needed

See alsoedit

  • Disk magazine a magazine contained entirely on disk rather than a disk attached to a paper magazine
  • Volume a jewel case sized music magazine that came with a CD in each issue

Record company representative decries 'covermount culture', 29 June 2007, The Guardian


  1. ^ Reviews of Speccy Games Based on Real Life Personalities
  2. ^ Oldfield attacks Tubular Bells giveaway, Music Week, 8 May 2007

covermount, covermount cd, covermount items, covermount rights, covermounts

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    Covermount beatiful post thanks!


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