Tag Archives: Ceros

Sport magazine – a great quote…and yet another Ceros ‘virtual mag’

“We’re 10 and a half months old, and we’ve got BMW and Mercedes as advertisers.
If you had asked me a year ago, I would have given my right arm for that. Now
I’ve got them, and still have my arm.”

Greg Miall, publishing director for the British edition of free street magazine Sport, tells The New York Times about the good fortunes of the mag.

Sport magazine started out in Paris three years ago and began publishing in Britain late last year. More than 700,000 copies of Sport are distributed weekly in France, with 320,000 handed out in London. The French edition, according to the NYT, is already profitable, while the British version is on track to break even within three years.

I thought the website was an ad sales platform. But low and behold – Ceros’ ‘virtual magazine’ comes to the rescue.

Read the latest edition of Sport magazine.

NatMags pulls Jellyfish – is Monekymag next?

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

The end of Revolution magazine in print?

New media business print mag Revolution is being offered in digital magazine format.

The mag, which is published by Michael Hestletine’s Haymarket Publishing, will be live for July/August’s edition (two months to account for the slow advertising period we imagine) for free as a virtual magazine after partnering with Ceros interface.

A report of the Ceros deal on Haymarket’s own Brand Republic failed to mention how ‘paperless’ the magazine might be in future, as in, will a print version continue to exist? Will one need to exist, now that advertisers are being offered rich media and links to their sites?

If so, will the mag continue as a free download and be funded by ads alone?

Although they feel like a throwback to 1999.com, ‘virtual’ magazines are taking off among publishers – perhaps because their ads are easier to sell. Advertisers ‘get’ the traditional quarter/half/full page ad slots.

It’s doubtful that Haymarket would go to all the trouble of laying out the mag only to pull the print version, but let’s wait and see.

Wonder what the team at Centaur’s New Media Age make of all this?
Update (15/10/07): At least one member of Centaur staff has read this post. Care to comment?

Monkey magazine adopts celebs only policy

Dennis Publishing’s web only lads mag Monkeymagazine.co.uk is relegating ‘real women’ to inside the magazine. From now on, only well known celebs will appear on the front cover.

Why? Nothing official appears to have been said, but Brand Republic’s story reminded users that a media buying agency had recently aired concerns over the web mag’s more controversial content.

In a move which may signal advertiser’s renewed confidence in the mag, Monkeymag.co.uk has secured its first fashion advertiser. Creative for Ben Sherman will include a video stream showcasing its new men’s collection with a direct link through to the brand’s e-commerce site.

Dennis Publishing is considering rolling out another electronic magazine within the next three months, and an additional two by the end of 2007 according to mad.co.uk.

In January, research compiled by Nielsen//NetRatings found that Monkey was pulling in 347,000 unique users compared to FHM’s 378,000 (presumably per month).

Still no sign of user generated content being rolled out on Monkeymagazine.co.uk. No doubt it’s when, not if, but I’d be interested to know how it’ll be implemented. Will forums within a paginated magazine – albeit ‘virtual’ – work? Or will Dennis continue the current tactic of basing the mag on user nominated content with the monkey editorial team acting as gatekeeper?
Get 3 Free issues of Maxim magazine – also from the publisher of monkeymag.co.uk
UPDATE (28/05/08): Why is this post so bloody popular??? READ MORE MONKEYMAG STORIES.
Care to take a look at today’s web content news? Or click on the monkeymag tag below for monkey news.

NatMags launches Jellyfish using Monkeymag format

Replicating the print magazine online is lazy. But it’s probably got a lot to do with maintaining advertising revenues. ‘Virtual paper’ magazines have been doing the rounds for years and have never really worked.

Publishers don’t really understand how the web works (or rather, how to make money on the web), so try to replicate the offline magazine experience online because print ads are the only approach they understand. It’s just a coincidence that the recipe seems to work for the likes of Monkeymag.co.uk or NatMags’ jellyfishmag.com – they’re essentially offering a print mag which has pages that come alive…and they get to run the same style of print ads.

Then there’s the linear surfing issue. Do users really prefer to be forced to read content in a left to right, magazine page way? This might be handy for older users who are familiar with old media ie print magazines, newspapers, but teens have grown up with content served up in ‘surf in any order’ web pages.

These virtual mags are popular, but they can be read in 10 mins. They don’t offer deep content. Users can get lost in an archive of web pages and read for hours. Search doesn’t seem to lend itself well to virtual magazines, each of which is ringfenced and positioned as a standalone package of content.

I’d love to see the results of any user testing…

Monkey magazine to launch in November

Ah. Dennis Publishing finally reveals all (quite literally, judging by the dummy cover) on its new weekly mens title, Monkeymag.

Tipped on this site a while back, Monkeymag will be ‘exclusively’ online. Someone whizz in the technical dept thought it’d be a good idea to publish in the virtual magazine format, which users will be able to turn, rather than click through to. No doubt this format will be easier for it’s ad sales department to sell. “It’s like a print ad in a magazine Frank…but virtual.”

Read Brand Republic’s report.