Masthead Blogs
Friday, July 03, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Back on May 30th, 2014, I blogged about Toronto Life‘s new Neighbourhoods SIP.  So it’s time to do a Check Up to see how it performed.

At a $9.95 cover price, these high-quality SIP’s are an important contributor to the overall newsstands sales story.

This particular issue sold 7,832 copies, and went on sale on June 2nd, 2014.

This was better than their Real Estate SIP by 515 copies or 7%, which went on sale March 31st, 2014 and sold 7,317 copies.

It was also better than their City Home SIP by 2,925 copies or 60%, which went on sale August 4th, 2014.

 

Friday, July 03, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The Dec/Jan 2015 issue (Last Spike) of Canada’s History magazine, set a new all time sales record!  Since the magazine is 95 years old, and has published roughly 570 issues, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Here’s what editor Mark Reid had to say about the creative process:

“We knew that our readers liked trains — after all, trains are what helped build this country. However, we decided to dig deeper to find the human interest stories that would bring train history to life. Our cover related to our main feature, “Ties That Bind,” which featured a series of train-related stories — from the driving of the Last Spike in 1885, to the “On to Ottawa” protest train, to the story of Bill Miner, the “Gentleman train robber” who pioneered the phrase “hands up” during his train robberies.”'
  • Sales for this issue are up 35% compared to the same issue last year
  • Sales are up 98% compared to last year’s average sale
  • Sales are up 88% compared to the other 5 issues in 2014
Canada’s History had an impressive performance in 2014, with overall sales up 21%.  (Context:  Overall North American Newsstand sales down 16.7%)

The Art Director is James Gillespie.

 
 

Friday, June 19, 2015
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
One of the challenges facing the media industry is converting free web readers to a paid one. This is a near impossible task if you start out giving it away for free. Some have tried and failed and went back to free. In the early years of the Internet it had to be free to get a trial so it was good strategy at that time. But, if you give it away for free the writer suffers in this industry model, as there is less money to pay them.

Companies like Google have benefited from this access to this free content for their search engines and Ad Sense program. This causes publishers to pay less for this content to make ends meet. I call this a “wage theft” strategy on an industry level that has broken the system. Writers use to get paid $1 per word in print, now if the're lucky, they get 10 cents per word. So who is going to write all this content? Writers are now forced to live on lower fees for their work and some even work for free, just for the exposure, and the hope that it might lead to some paid gigs.

 

As publishers we need to look for ways to make the content pay so we can pay a living wage to our writers. While web display ads is one way, it cannot be the only way. For example if a website that has 50,000 visitors and is generating say 200,000 page impressions, the potential value is $3,000 per ad spot based on a $15 CPM if they can get it. So if you have three ad spots the value of the inventory is $9,000 per month or $108,000 per year. Assume that 50% of the inventory will be sold and the revenue is $54,000.

But the reality of this scenario of getting a $15 CPM will be a challenge in the consumer space. The Google ad sense program pays by the click model so that publishers get a very small CPM for their ad impressions. Ad networks take a 40% commission on ad sales and sell inventory at $3-5 CPM. For a publisher that only has a website they will be out of business if they do not have other sources of revenue like a print version or email newsletter to sell to amortize content costs.

In this market scenario Google gets our content for free for the Search Engine advertising and then undercuts publishers with low rates with the Ad Sense program to get all the advertising dollars and depress rates. This system is broken as you can see. One side provides the content for free and the other gets all money. Nobody will want to be a writer under these conditions and the system will collapse in the long term as their will be no next generation of writers.

To get some ideas on how to fix the system I had an interview with Ryan Wilock. Wilock is a content creator in the radio industry, who is also a syndicated DJ with a hit show distributed nationally on radio stations across Canada with the same music format. He gets a fee based on the ad sales of his program. This model links the success of the content to ad sales and the creator gets to share in the proceeds. That is a true partnership, not what we have in the online world! Now if we can get publishers to do that  it would be great start, but there has to be sufficient ad sales to make this work profitably.

 

Another interesting idea I found was a company Legacy.com that is an obituary service for daily newspapers that provides an online announcement, a chance to leave comments to pay your respects and register in a guestbook as part of the service. The newspapers pay a fee for each listing, but can reap the rewards of related sales of flowers that the visitor can purchase while visiting the obituary. Legacy provides a flower ecommerce service where a share of the proceeds will go back to the publisher. Over 1,700 newspapers use this service. In this model the advertiser pays for the listing and then the publisher get a cut of the sales of the products too. This is a great model as it provides two sources of revenue for the content.

 

There is another approach to look at that does a great job using the content marketing model. Dr. Mercola has a website that provides articles on natural health and living and has over 1 million subscribers to their email newsletter. The branded media site takes no advertising and pitches no products but their own branded ones that are available for sale on the site. This approach, like the Leagacy.com idea links the content with actual product sales versus leads and awareness for advertisers.

The new media companies like search engines; social media and blogging sites rely on free content for them to make their profits. It is a model that does not benefit all the stakeholders in the ecosystem and must be addressed by the industry for long-tern sustainability. In a world where content is “King” we need a better support system for writers so they can share the benefits in the growing share of digital advertising. How about this radical idea that all the search engines give back 25% of sales to a journalists fund through a country tax that is distributed by the government to the industry as grants. The search engines must comply or each country web filters through the ISP providers will block them from market access. Now lets see if any politicians or the CRTC take the ball on this one.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The CMC awarded Ricardo (English Edition) as The 2015 Magazine of the Year.  Congratulations to Tracey McKinley, Coast to Coast to Coast, and the entire team for a job well done!

I blogged about this launch back on September 11th, 2014, as the Cover of the Week…so it’s time to check out the results!

The Fall launch issue (on sale September 15th) sold 23,882 copies! An incredible result right out of the gate! So was it a one-hit wonder?  Nope!

The following issue (December 2014, on sale November 3rd) sold 23,865…an almost identical number!

The February 2015 issue, on sale December 15th, is sitting at a sale of 25,527, while not 100% final, is probably 99% final now.

The next two issues have equally compelling covers and look poised to sell extremely well too!

 
 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The new Jul/Aug 2015 issue of Horse Canada is set to go on sale July 6th.  The magazine is on a big time roll.

Their last 7 issues in a row have all posted increased sales.
  1. Nov/Dec 2013…up 11%
  2. Jan/Feb  2014 Horse Annual up 22%
  3. Mar/Apr 2014 up 40%
  4. May/Jun 2014 up 147%
  5. Jul/Aug 2014 up 103%
  6. Sep/Oct 2014 up 18%
  7. Nov/Dec 2014 up 29%
In addition, while sales are not yet final, big gains are expected for the first 3 issues of 2015 too.

Special thanks to the OMDC. And to our distributor Disticor.

 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The June 2015 issue of Canadian Geographic features a cover story on the 100 Greatest Explorers.

Here is what editor Aaron Kylie has to say about the issue:

“Explorers and exploration are a big deal for our readership, however there are not a lot of universally well known modern Canadian explorers. So with this cover, art director Javier Frutos played up a largely graphical treatment with a prominent main cover line with a simple direct sub-line. He also used a row of small images of select explorers, inspired from a December 2004 Canadian Geographic cover that had done particularly well at newsstand.”

 
 


Wednesday, June 17, 2015
57 Media Spikes
Dennis Kelly
Welcome to checkpoint number six.

Number six in our series of six and the final summary of 57 Media Spikes.

Whew—you can exhale now. Thanks for staying along for the ride. Including these checkpoint summaries, you've been with me for 63 messages. Abut 6 months along now. I hope you've enjoyed and have been able to use some of the tips and ideas in your business practice to improve your business.

#51: Waiting on tables. Powerful place based marketing by one enterprising jeweller gave them a big creative footprint that literally put their catalogue in the foodcourt. Top of Mind from Top Of Table.

#52: What's the best media? WELL- let me ask you...What do you want to do? Who do you want to reach? How much can you afford to spend? What do you want to say? Every campaign has —or should—have their own media mix. And magazines, well they are a perfect place to be a good storyteller.

#53: Radio. The music is the bridge that connects my past to my present. Radio is always theatre of the mind because the listener is painting the special effects in their own mind from the narrative you provide. We also gave you a link to our 10 part series on radio by clicking here.

#54: Television advertising is alive and well and living in your living room, basement, bedroom, kitchen, garage, handheld, laptop and our thirst for it is unquenchable.  When you're advertising, TV means you are on stage performing. Don't miss your chance to shine.

#55: While social media is gaining traction and usage, it remains a sociable environment, and less so a sales environment. But like all other media, it is evolving to find ways to monetize itself. Right now it seems you need to work very hard to make your ads work rather than your ads working hard for you.

#56: On The Road Again with Willie Nelson and the thousands of billboards he's seen in a lifetime of touring. Outdoor media is your chance to Make Some Noise Without a Sound. We also provided a link to our 10 part series on outdoor media by clicking here.

#57: You are HERE! Just like our series opened. We've explored lots of media options, history and links to multiple sources that I hope were worth the price of admission - Your name and email address was worth it to me.

The 57 Media Spikes email series has come to its conclusion, but also come to a transition the inner circle if you'd like to continue to receive additional media commentary.

Thank you.  I look forward to seeing you as part of the Spike of Angels Inner Circle

It has been my privilege. Thank you. Be well.

Sincerely.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

100 Days Of Summer Savings

In appreciation of your loyalty, and in recognition that June 2015 marks my 20th Anniversary owning First Impressions Media, and as my way atoning for the link hiccup, you are offered a 20th Anniversary discount.

Nine Secrets is available for an unheard of deal of $20. Yes that’s right, only $20 for
Nine Secrets which may transform your business, JUST LIKE THAT.

This is a summer discount of 100 days and will end at midnight, EST, on Friday September 4th, 2015.

The new link for this special offer is: Nine Secrets - 20th Anniversary - 100 Days of Summer - for $20 Deal

Thank you dear Masthead readers for your loyalty. My regrets for any inconvenience you encountered.  I hope you enjoy Nine Secrets and I encourage you to invest in YOU with this Special, One Time Only, 20th Anniversary offer for $20.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
57 Media Spikes
Dennis Kelly
Greetings once again.

The most amazing part of this advertising series is that after 56 previous Media Spikes, YOU ARE HERE!

Not unlike how we opened this series 11 weeks ago.

I am the lucky recipient of your eyeballs and attention for 57 consecutive business days. For those wondering or counting, this series will conclude at approximately 36,000 words.

I am honoured and humbled you’ve stayed with me. Thank you.

The intention throughout this series was to demonstrate for you the power of owning your platform. We’ve together explored, television and magazines, online/social media, outdoor media and radio and I’ve offered strategy, critiques, commentary and I hope some education for you.

Clearly more than I could ever deliver in a typical 20 minute boardroom setting with each of you, this series has been my platform. A chance for you to see my style first hand.

I appreciate and have enjoyed the e-mails I’ve received from several of you along the journey. Please keep them coming, I’m glad to help you where and when I can.

Some readers may love me and want to hire as several already have. (Thank you). Others may be less passionate about my overtures and they certainly have that right.

Other readers have taken it upon themselves to access several of the links provided for further information and still others have accessed our link for our Nine Secrets E-Book.

In this we provide details on 9 Secrets and seven easy to follow assignments to help you improve your advertising. One reader coined it ‘His desktop Media Director’ which I thought very appropriate. It distills 30 years of media trenches into 9 Secrets for just $30 because you’re a Masthead reader.  Not bad. A buck a year for you to learn what it took me 3 decades. Lucky you.

By the time you reach this page you will have made some decisions about your media, and about me.

The following invitation is extended only to those who have stayed with me to now. Your reading this is testament to your interest and appreciation of my efforts to date.

This is an opportunity to join my Spike of Angels Inner Circle extended exclusively to readers who have stayed with me all this time. At the time of this writing, there is no charge for this membership, but if that changes, we will give full up front notice of any monetary obligation, so you can make an informed decision.

The best part about continuing education is you continue learning, for as long as you choose. I do hope you will continue to be part of my e-mail universe. I’ve loved having you and hope I’ve been able to help solve one or more media problems or concerns since you’ve joined us.

Like you, I’m not ready to pick out curtains, but I’ve enjoyed our dance, dating, repartee, and the Inner Circle will bring you my continued media thinking as well as some special Bonuses and unannounced Opportunities exclusive to the Spike of Angels Inner Circle. You don’t get access unless you’ve completed 57 Media Spikes.

Thank you it has been my privilege.
Look forward to seeing you on the Inside of Spike of Angels Inner Circle.

Sincerely.

Dennis Kelly
dennis@firstimpressionsmedia.ca

100 Days Of Summer Savings

In appreciation of your loyalty, and in recognition that June 2015 marks my 20th Anniversary owning First Impressions Media, and as my way atoning for the link hiccup, you are offered a 20th Anniversary discount.

Nine Secrets is available for an unheard of deal of $20. Yes that’s right, only $20 for
Nine Secrets which may transform your business, JUST LIKE THAT.

This is a summer discount of 100 days and will end at midnight, EST, on Friday September 4th, 2015.

The new link for this special offer is: Nine Secrets - 20th Anniversary - 100 Days of Summer - for $20 Deal

Thank you dear Masthead readers for your loyalty. My regrets for any inconvenience you encountered.  I hope you enjoy Nine Secrets and I encourage you to invest in YOU with this Special, One Time Only, 20th Anniversary offer for $20.

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
The July 2015 issue of Vanity Fair is a shocker.  The cover girl is former Olympic star Bruce Jenner, who has completed his transition to a women.

The cover shoot was done by legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz.  The article is written by Pulitzer Prize–winning contributing editor Buzz Bissinger.

I’m a bit surprised that People Weekly or one of the tabloids didn’t get the first “reveal.”

 

Thursday, June 11, 2015
Covers Sell
Scott Bullock
Legion Magazine‘s Jul/Aug 2015 issue will feature a cover story on the Battle of Britain.

This cover was 99% perfect on the first draft, with only some minor tweeks needed in the sky bar area.

Art Director Jason Duprau.

 

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