Advertising –it’s the grease that turns the wheels of the publishing industry. For many smaller publishers, it’s often considered a “necessary evil,” as pointed out by Offscreen’s publisher Kai Brach in a recent blog post.
Brach has come up with an elegant alternative to ads in his magazine, by offering a set of pages dedicated to the magazine’s sponsors – the businesses that make the publication possible.
“Art directors spend hundreds of hours creating a beautiful experience for their readers, so it really hurts when cheap ads disrupt that experience by shouting about some product or service the reader ought to purchase,” explains Brach.
“When I started Offscreen I was trying to come up with a system that is less intrusive. I replaced annoying quarter-, half- and full-page ad slots half-way through an editorial piece in the magazine by presenting eight companies (sponsors) in a very subtle, unobtrusive and unified way in the center of the magazine,” he continues.
The result? Seems like the sponsorship idea is a hit, among readers, sponsors and the publisher.
Readers have been saying nice things about the sponsor pages, with comments that indicate a higher level of engagement with the copy overall. The sponsors appreciate the subtle and thoughtful approach and the way it makes their brands look. And Brach asserts the move “adds value to the magazine in non-financial terms that is difficult to measure, but is as (if not more) important than the pay check.”
We like the idea too, and are interested to see how this idea develops.