A couple of weeks ago, I received a phone call from Ruth La Ferla, a fashion writer for the New York Times, inquiring about our recent article on the Top 10 Online Fashion Magazines. We ended up having a great discussion about which sites were truly distinctive, how they were using new technologies to step up their performance and reader-engagement, and whether Anna Wintour and the like should be worried about these upstart online editors stealing away their readers and their jobs.
Today, Ruth published an article entitled "Where the Fashionistas go for a Quick Fix," which features many of the online magazines from our ranking and ably sums up the reason why these niche sites are gaining more and more attention.
The most interesting takeaway from the article was that some niche fashion sites, like Hintmag, have been able to secure substantial monthly sponsorship dollars from major advertisers like Gucci, which currently has a full-sized video advertisement on the Hintmag site. (I will reserve comment on the quality and impact of the Gucci ad itself.)
Nonetheless, for truly distinctive sites with well-curated and original content and good audience numbers, it seems that much more value may be captured from one-off sponsorship deals like this as opposed to the use of advertising banners on a pay-per-impression basis.
One thing that is not covered in the article is the potential of a multi-channel approach, where readers are given a variety of options of interacting with content online and offline. Coincidentally, the undisputed leader in this area, at the moment, is New York Times T Magazine which sets the bar for everyone else, using video, blogs and great photography to deliver a truly outstanding user experience.
Photo courtesy of UNvogue.com and the New York Times.