It's perfectly clear that media-based business models are tricky because of the m-word -- monetization. Charge for your content, and if the buyers are there you are good. Pick a niche where the cpms are rich and the audience sizable, and you're good. But what do you do when you're in a category like sport fishing, as we are with our GoFISHn.com project. There is a big nationwide audience, but alas even at scale the premium cpms are hard to get. We're just a start-up, so perhaps it's no surprise, but I know around the industry at more extablished brands it's a similar story.
Last fall, we decided to try something that would get readers to pay and advertisers to buy: the magazine, or the mobile digital magazine in the guise of an iPad app, to me more precise. We figured that if we could pick and organize the best of the 10,000 posts on GoFISHN in the past year, we could deliver a great experience for consumers, good enough to actually pay for, and attract advertisers.
So Brian McClintock, the editor for GoFISHn, and I partnered with Dmitry Papery's Cohere Studio to make it happen. It was A LOT OF WORK, as I documented in this post on Quora. But a couple of weeks ago we launched "The Year in Fishing," on iTunes with a free preview issue and a $4.99 full download of nearly 100 screen of great images, video and text organized by specific fishing guides and interesting subjects, including crime, celebrity, science, records, danger and more. So far we've seen about 2800 downloads, and we've barely begun promotion. Here are some of the reviews we've gotten:
It's a great start on an interesting experiment. if consumers will buy the app, we're sure advertisers will join in to buy advertising, in fact one already has. Have a look at the app in iTunes and let us know what you think -- after you download and purchase the complete issue, of course!