Byte-ing into magazines

Readers are deserting teenage magazines in droves – Cosmo Girl! is the latest to close – and, say publishers, turning to online media. That presents a problem because, as David Hepworth says in the Guardian, magazines have yet to get a handle on how to make money on the web. He’s right, but there are some interesting experiments going on.

Dennis has its digital weekly for lads, Monkey and Nat Mags has Jellyfish for young women. Both are e-mailed free to people who register. And Sublime started as an online group before launching on paper this year.

But, at least in my house, the switch to digital isn’t the whole story. My lad’s world is built around BMX biking. It’s where his money and most of his time goes – TV barely gets a look in – apart from when he’s in a biking mail group or chatting to pals. It also dictates his magazine reading with the likes of Ride, Dirt and Dig BMX.

As for Darling Daughter, it’s been horses (and hence the likes of Horse & Pony), then just a year of teen mags (Bliss and Cosmo Girl!) before heading on to Glamour. (As a user of Facebook for 2 years, she feels the site has made a mistake in opening up to the likes of Andrew Neil, rather than just students.)

By the way, anyone know if the likes of MySpace are a licence to print money for Rupert Murdoch, in the way that Roy Thomson said television was for newspaper publishers in the late 1950s?

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4 Responses to “Byte-ing into magazines”

  1. peter hobday Says:

    Tony – Murdoch is probably the world’s most successful media marketer, so he will have a great game plan.

    My guess is he is going for classified ads like Google AdSense. Most big media owners don’t understand the classified market. (The Guardian and Google are other exceptions.)

    With a page rank of 8 out of 10, that’s a lot of money for My Space.

    Best

    Peter

  2. Grant Lyons Says:

    We think we’re close to bringing magazines to life on the Web. We’re currently working with publishing and advertising execs to launch a platform built for readers, advertisers and publishers who want to move in a greener direction through digital publishing – without sacrificing any of the creativity, design and ad revenue of traditional printed titles.

    We’re close. It’s all a little top-secret at the moment, but we’re looking forward to sharing more news. I’ll email you in September when we launch the first mag on the platform (if you want). There’s a small taste on our site now, but it’s nothing like the real thing.

    Grant Lyons
    Founder, FirstRide.com
    Do good. Do well.™

  3. magforum Says:

    Good luck, but I worry about anything on a PC claiming to be greener than paper. British Rail never claimed that its trains were better for the environment than cars or planes – because they were zooming all over the country emptying their toilets all over the tracks! As for PCs, think of all the electricity those server farms are burning up, or walk round the city at night to see all the left-on screens glowing in the dark. And as for making and recycling them, the figures are terrifying (http://www.it-environment.org/compenv.html).

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