I think most of you regular Charcoalies know that I am a big media consumer, and I have so many ideas (too many sometimes). I have been doing a lot of thinking of what I want to achieve in my life, and I for one know that I am deeply passionate about communicating opportunities to people, and providing really fantastic information that benefits people’s lives.
The possible sale of EBONY or potential closure is a serious issue. Many people say the Internet this and the Internet that, but as the Internet is showing us, the business model for content online is also seriously flawed, relying solely on advertising.
Right now, Black Enterprise is the only magazine for blacks that is doing well in regards to subscriptions. It has something like nearly 500,000 paying subscribers, which for media in itself is quite a feat.
Relying solely on advertising is not the future of online content. Paid subscriptions are.
5 Ideas to save EBONY
- Create an iPad application today
- Create applications for iPhone, Blackberry, Android etc
- Create badges on foursquare
Why do the aforementioned? To capture the younger readers immediately, because EBONY is not seen as something for young people which is a huge mistake. EBONY needs to reach the middle ground.
- Buy music publishing companies. Mike was RIGHT. Music publishing is a nice return on invesment, which can then be ploughed back into EBONY.
- Reach out to the African diaspora. I am surprised EBONY have not tried to licence their brand to other countries with black people. Nigeria has 115m black people and Brazil comes in at a close second at 60m. If I was the publishers at EBONY, I would be striking deals with local media in Nigeria and Brazil and immediately promote the hell out of the EBONY brand for Nigeria and Brazil to raise subscriptions.
- Stop reporting news as short pieces but report features and heavy analysis pieces
Why the aforementioned? Music publishing companies will provide a nice income stream for the main company. Nigeria and Brazil are huge markets of black people that can be sold affordable subscriptions of premium content that is localised to them.
What do you all think? I think subscriptions are the future. Free content has to be marketed as being not as good as paid content which is premium. For EBONY, the magazine has to convince readers that it can appeal to younger readers and middle class.
I would argue that EBONY has to aim for 18-35 and 35-40. No offence, but anything over 50 would not be good business.
In terms of content, this has to be pieces that you can’t get anywhere else.