Tag Archives: monkeymag

Do advertisers don’t ‘get’ digital virtual magazines?

After using them since 2005, the editor of surfing magazine Drift says that digital mags are a tough sell to advertisers. Users also prefer print magazines that they can flick through in the cafe, in a surf shop or in the back of a van (this is so Point Break).

I disagree. If digital editions of magazines, as in virtual page-turning magazines, don’t work because advertisers don’t ‘get’ them, then why is monkeymag.co.uk doing so well? I’d say it’s all about targeting the right audience with the right content.

I agree, the prospect of reading an indepth wordy three page feature in a digital magazine like monkeymag doesn’t appeal to me, but skimming through half page short features about quirky videos or ‘and finally’ oddball features does seem to work better for this medium.

Don’t dismiss the likes of virtual page magazines just yet. I’d argue that advertisers DO get this medium as they can relate it to the traditional print mag ad space concept. Just don’t ask advertisers to place their ads opposite a 600 word 10-point font feature.

Read more about Drift’s comments at paidContent.org.

Monkeymag.co.uk overtakes print lads mag rivals Nuts and Zoo

The staff at Dennis Publishing’s digital only magazine monkeymag.co.uk should be celebrating after unique user stats for the site have overtaken circulation for print mags Nuts and Zoo.

Press Gazette reports ABCe figures which give the virtual page turning magazine (oddly, the linear navigation of a magazine works online) an average 271,667 users per edition. Nuts and Zoo magazine gets 270,053 and 179,006 respecitively each month.

Mad.co.uk reports that Dennis has signed up car maker Ford as its first client for a new customer publishing arm which will produce branded digital magazines.

A debate for another time – can you really compare uniques with paying readers of print mags?

Dennis to follow up monkeymag.co.uk with Gizmo site launch

Dennis Publishing is building on the success (not that we know exact user figures) of digital only lads mag monkeymag.co.uk with a website that aims to exploit the lucrative gadgets ‘n’ geeks market – called Gizmo.

Free and fornightly from 11 March, Gizmo copy monkeymag’s popular mix of content aggregation – namely magazines, websites and video to review and demonstrate products.

The Guardian reports Gizmo will target ABC1 men aged 25 to 45 from its database of 1.5 million male magazine readers of its titles such as PC Pro and Mac User.

Positive new launch Blah, Blah from Bruce Sandell, head of new product development at Dennis Publishing said the mag will bring a new format to the sector. And no doubt some decent advertising opportunities we think.

Ross Burridge, reviews editor at Dennis’ PC Pro has been appointed as editor.

Yet another gadget mag launch for men might seem a brave move in an already busy market, but each launch seems to do okay. As long as you target men that is – remeber Future Publishing’s decision to fold its female blog Gadget Candy.com into T3, after two years of toughing it out?

Is there such a finite marketing for girl geeks that the likes of Popgadget and Shiny Media’s popular Shiny Shiny blog are more than enough?

Until the lack of females in IT ‘crisis’ is reversed, this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

See – no Yahoo / Microsoft merger talk here guvnor. Just real social issues affecting the UK – like what gadgets to buy.

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Dennis Publishing appoints Viz and Inside Poker man to monkeymag.co.uk

Dennis Publishing has appointed Richard Downey, publishing director of Viz and Inside Poker, to lead web only magazine monekymag.co.uk, after former Emap strategy director James Mallinson left following a company restructure.

Read more on Mad.co.uk

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

Ben Perreau! Editor of NME.com!! Leaving!!?

I can’t find any mention of this anywhere other than his newsletter, so I’m either way behind here or this is new news.

Okay, I’m not gonna lie to you. I don’t know much about Ben Perreau’s career apart from a page long NMA case study on NME.com, but I do know he’s a big deal. Why? Because he’s developed one of the best perfoming publisher sites in the world. One which squares up to the likes of MySpace Music and other broadcasting heavyweights.

Instead of seeing the web as a threat, Ben’s exploited NME’s equity in the print market and transferred that online. He looks to have used the classic approach of breaking universal and soon to be dead news on the web, and keeping exlcusive news and features for the money making print edition (not that the web isn’t making money – it is).

Ben mentions his departure in this week’s NME e-newsletter:

Hello for the very last time good friends,

This being my final week at NME, I’ve decided to be truly self-indulgent and write the newsletter myself. I’m leaving to find ways of inflicting my music tastes (among other things) on a whole new bunch. But don’t worry, NME.COM remains in very capable hands – ready to fly the flag as the world’s greatest music news destination without me, so make sure you keep coming back. In fact, we’re already working on masses more improvements in the NME.COM basement bunker, ready to drop in the coming months.

But you’ve not got rid of me yet, not before I’ve had a chance to tell you just what’s going on this week on NME.COM. It’s razor-sharp, as always: we’ve got the whole of Kate Nash’s debut album ‘Made Of Bricks’ to hear from Thursday, the whole of The Coral’s new album, ‘Roots And Echoes’, Dan Martin’s Too Much Information blog gets jiggy with Arctic Monkeys up at Old Trafford and there’s the new video from Paramore. Whatever your eyes and ears need: it’s all there, I assure you.

The magazine is chock-full too. There’s the first verdict on Babyshambles’ new album, the chance to get on the bill at Carling Weekend: Reading or Leeds Festival,
reviews of new music from The Courteneers, Tiny Masters Of Today, Love,
Franz Ferdinand and erm… Eddie Argos’ other band. Plus there’s the full-on
moshpit report from Arctic Monkeys’ greatest moment yet at Old Trafford this

There’s shedloads more – but that should be enough for starters. And that’s me. It’s been a blast – the greatest ever. Sail on, sailors. (sob)

Ben PerreauEditor, NME.COMxxx
PS. Until Friday, you can still email me
with any suggestions – I’ll make sure they get passed on.

Blimey. Dry your eyes mate. No idea where he’s going though. Is he staying within IPC
Media? Launching an online only music magazine brand (if so – why?)? Or is he doing
a James Carter
of Monkeymag.co.uk fame and leaving the publisher to launch
his own content venture?
Either way, Godspeed Ben. Oh, and watch out for the beginning of the dotcom
slowdown in September.
He’s going to Sky to work on content strategy / build some new websites.

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?

Print publishers don’t have a ‘god given right’ to survive online

Interesting coverage of the Cannes Advertising Festival by Mark Sweney of MediaGuardian.co.uk, in particular his notes on a talk by Professor Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at Microsoft.

I totally agree that publishers of mags and newspapers shouldn’t think they have a god given right. But I do think they have a prayer – as long as they get up to speed with their nearest online competitors asap.

If print publishers migrate all of the best bits of their popular mag, go on to tweak these features to exploit the web AND ensure they’re offering a similarly rewarding experience to the new generation of online only rivals, then all should be well.

A good example is NME.com. The likes of MySpace are snapping at its heals, but its mix of UGC, user profiles, video content and quality journalism means it’s easily capable of being a major player online as well as off. But it’s also reaping the rewards of early web investment.

Anyone offering a strong vertical portal and ‘owning’ a niche area of interest I think has more than a fighting chance against the please-all dotcom behemoths. MySpace knows this too – which is why its site is cut up into niche interest ‘passion centres’. This also explains MTV and Yahoo’s recent decision to develop hobby/interest led microsites and focus efforts on ‘owning’ a space.

Print publishers, like NME.com, just need to hit the ground running asap. If not, shoestring upstarts (e.g. Monkeymag.co.uk) begin to scoop up everyone you’re not catering for on the web (e.g. Loaded).

Read Mark’s post from Cannes.

Dennis to revamp UK websites after sell off of US arm?

Dennis Publishing is thought to have sold its international interests in magazines and websites Maxim , Stuff and Blender to equity fund Quadrangle Group according to paidContent.org.

Does the retention of the UK versions of Maxim and Stuff mean we can expect revamped UK sites soon? Ones which perhaps borrow elements of Dennis’ online only monekymag.co.uk publication?

Channel4’s Popworld Pulp pulled

Channel4’s Pulp magazine has been shelved after just two issues, resulting in the loss of 14 jobs at contract publisher Brooklands Group.

The magazine, which was described as being Brooklands biggest project to date in October last year, sold just 9,000 issues, despite very strong interest by readers and the industry before launch, according to the MediaGuardian. Popworld Pulp had a print run of 130,000 copies.

Brooklands was brave in bailing early rather than trying to battle on through and “prove the market wrong”, but it must now get more information on why it failed with readers.

I’m surpised I’ve not seen more comment on how Pulp’s closure reinforces the idea that web is now preferred over print among web savvy 16 to 24 year olds (the mag’s target audience).

Given the time and effort Brooklands spent on marketing , not to mention Channel4’s TV spots, does Pulp’s demise represent an important watershed? Or is this an example of how digital needs to play at least some part when targeting this age group? The likes of Dennis (Monkeymag) and Natmags (Jellyfish) seem to be focusing on digital only launches after all.

Was there a plan to launch a supporting website for Pulp? Was it planned for issue 3? Was a seeding MySpace profile proposed at all?