Google Ads Make ‘Nuppence Ha’penny’ For Digital Mags

Perhaps no surprise really, but here’s an observation from a digital magazine platform which suggests charged access is a bigger earner than contextual ads…

Adam Hodgkin, co-founder of Exact Editions, which powers digital replicas for the likes of The Spectator, says…


Hodgkin told paidContent:UK the web versions of some Exact-powered replicas like Kiteworld magazine, here, had been running Google (NSDQ: GOOG) ads in columns adjacent to pages.

“The ads have some contextual relevance, and do not ‘interfere’ with the reading experience.

“But it would be fair to say that our experience is that magazines that charge will make much more from selling digital subs than they will from running ads in the margin of ‘open’ pages. Like two or three orders of magnitude more.”

Of course, it was never a forgone conclusion that Google Ads, which have proved so lucrative for – well, for Google – by matching placements to page content, would necessarily translate to professionally published magazines, especially since the ads are outside of the mag pages themselves. The contextual ad model is still holding up well when ads are placed on true web pages.

Hodgkin continued: “We think its quite possible that the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iAds system will be a more lucrative source of advertising revenue for magazines that have a free-in-print distribution system, and are therefore unlikely to work as charged-for apps in the iTunes store.

“We have made no announcements but we are looking at this possibility with interest. Its an obvious road for strong, up-market, free-sheets to explore.”