Natmags is believed to be pulling its virtual magazine website for girls, citing “distribution challenges.”
Duncan Edwards, chief executive of NatMags told Brand Republic that he couldn’t see a sustainable business model in the magazine. Live for 20 weeks, the mag recently shifted its focus from 13-19 year-olds to 18-25s.
Despite being received well as a product, NatMags managing director Jessica Burley said that distribution and marketing challenges were too significant.
What? As in the cost of hosting? Email marketing management? Is it the terms of the deal with Ceros, the virtual magazine application it sits on?
Well, no – according to PaidContent, Jellyfish had problems with its email newsletter and spam filters/firewalls.
A comment posted on the Brand Republic story asks if it’s a matter of time before Dennis Publishing’s similar virtual magazine Monkeymag.co.uk goes the same way. He also questions the choice of the virtual magazine application, given focuses on technology, saying that it’s ‘not very widely adopted’ software. Given that it loads in your normal browser, I doubt this is an accessibility issue.
I don’t think this is a debate about the end of ‘virtual magazines’. Nor is about email marketing and firewalls (I’m still stunned this was such a problem in this day and age).
It’s more about targeted content. Boys / males veer towards the (inexpensive) aggregation of existing content (e.g. cheap and widely available bone curnching videos of skateboarding dogs jumping through hoops of fire), while girls may favour the more crafted (and expensive) fashion tips, features and celeb pic content (not so available and ‘aggregatable’ on the web to use a non-existant word).
I’d say Monkeymag still has legs (it’s doing well with display ads, which Jellyfish wasn’t doing much of according to PaidContent).
A minor point – does anyone know the terms of a Ceros licence? Are publishers charged per user accessing the site for example? Let me know.
Go to Jellyfishmag.co.uk
Read the Brand Republic story