Friday, January 21, 2011

Start-up Journal: Free Ads? Branded Content?

I'VE HAD DISCUSSIONS with several people who have suggested giving away free advertisements in the inaugural issue of JUMP, which will be released in March.

It is a common practice for new publications. There are numerous reasons for giving away ad space - developing relationships with potential advertisers, creating a perception of legitimacy in the eyes of the audience, etc.

Personally, I am against giving away ad space. With all that extra room in the magazine, we can be the magazine we would want to be, not the magazine we have to be because of finances. This is our chance to show the world how awesome we can be.

I'm not sure if that is smart. Thoughts?

Also, I don't want to give away ads when a handful of folks will pay for ads. Just doesn't seem fair.

A few people have suggested that we do branded content. They have suggested we work with potential advertisers to develop story ideas around their businesses. The stories and photos would be presented as regular content. But it would essentially be sponsored.

I'm against that as well.

That all may make me sound naive in business terms. But I try to see things from the readers' perspective. What do they want?

If we can figure that out, we'll gain a following. If we gain a following, advertisers will want to reach them. And we'll throw concerts and other benefits to raise cash to continue the magazine. Plus, we aren't looking for tons of cash.

I'm open to all ideas. Hit me.

(Why the picture of celebrating baseball players from 8th & Poplar? I miss me some baseball. Damn.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm 50/50 on the free ads issue. I think that the bottom line is that the magazine will work if it is awesome, and it won't if it isn't, and the rest is just details. When it comes to branded content, I feel the same way you do. I would not want to read a music publication if I was wondering, "am I only reading about this because somebody had some money to throw around?" I would want to read a magazine where the content was picked by magazine staff solely because that's what they wanted to cover. That way the magazine remains a place where unknown and financially struggling artists could find exposure, not something with space reserved for those with a budget.