Print ad revenue is still in an alarming free-fall, and journalists are getting laid off three times faster than the rest of the workforce, according to Unity’s 2009 Layoff Tracker Report. The onus is on publishers to find new revenue streams, and a profitable Web strategy is central to continued survival. And while many print publishers have tried to replicate their print profitability online, few have succeeded to date—at least in a large way.
But Fader Media Inc. Executive Vice President and Group Publisher Andy Cohn says that while print revenue is down so far this year at his company, growth from the Web and events is making up for it.
What’s more, according to Cohn, the Web profitability is coming from good, old Web advertising—clickable ad banners and branded content—the same material so many publishers are having a hard time selling at decent rates. Further, TheFader.com traffic more than doubled from September ’08 to September ’09, while its revenue more than quadrupled.
So how are they doing it? Cohn let Publishing Executive in on the secrets to Fader’s online success.
“Print and online are two different mediums, and we can’t make the mistake of just throwing all our magazine content online and vice versa,” says Cohn, a philosophy that’s illustrated by the fact that Fader magazine and TheFader.com have different brands on the Web.
Users visiting the dedicated magazine site (TheFader.com/magazine) come to a page with the most recent cover images, an editor’s letter and links to articles. Cover stories, two to four features and select back-of-book pieces are posted here about four weeks after the magazine’s on-sale date.