60% of bigger magazine websites profitable, survey shows

More than half of the consumer magazines with a monthly traffic of 1.5 million unique users and more are profitable, according to a survey. Advertising is the largest revenue source with 83% of these websites saying it is most important. Weekly magazines are more than twice as likely to be profitable than those of quarterlies. Almost two-thirds of the sites that do make a profit offer their content for free. Some 665 consumer magazines completed the survey Magazines and Their Web Sites conducted by Abt SRBI for Columbia Journalism Review. The study found that more than a third of consumer magazines don’t even know if their website makes a profit or not, as 134 answered “not sure” and 110 don’t measure the profit separately, compared with 212 that said it does make profit, while 209 did not respond. However, to regard online as a distinct area seems to pay off. Among the magazine websites that do not make a profit, it is nearly two times as likely that they have the web budget controlled by the editor-in-chief of the print magazine, the study found. In magazines with profitable websites, 67% say that it is publishers or independent web editors control the internet budget. If an independent web editor is in charge of the budget or the content decision, it is also more likely that they keep up with technological developments and have versions of their websites designed for multiple platforms such as mobile phones or smartphones.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/2010/mar/08/magazine-websites

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