“Extinction level event” pushes Australian Anthill to sponsored online model

anthillcoverfan2Business magazine Anthill is to reduce its print frequency and upgrade its online offering in a bid to beat what its founder describes as publishing’s “extinction level event”.  

The magazine is to move from six times a year to quarterly. But publisher and founder James Tuckerman insisted: “We are high spirited about what we are doing. Change is good.”  

The first stage of the new look web site launched last week. Tuckerman said: “We have begun the process of changing our focus from a business magazine with a solid website to a digital media company with a fuller, fatter publication.”

However, he insisted that he remained committed to the print product. He said: “Print does bring credibility to an online platform and offers you a point of difference to the plethora of SME business web sites that clutter this sector.”

He added: “It also lets us engage with higher level advertisers who want to go beyond click through advertising.”

The magazine will now focus on flagship editions including its Smart 100 Index covering Australia’s most innovative products, its 30 under 30 list of Australia’s next generation of business leaders and its Cool Company Awards.

Rather than focus on a CPM model for the website, Anthill has developed a range of sponsorship packages, which it says will help it stand out. Tuckerman said: “The next 12 months will be an extinction level event for many Australian publishers unless they adapt to this changing environment, and quickly. The future of business marketing is all about educating customers, rather than flogging them product.”

The new offering – based on a WordPress platform –  includes themed sections offering specialist advice on a particular topic, with sponsor branding clearly attached. For instance, the page covering direct marketing is heavily branded with as the sponsor. Advertisers are also offered options to host forums on the page or to place educational videos or webinars.

Tuckerman said: “We wanted to create something of value to readers and advertisers. Banner advertising just doesn’t generate the click-throughs it used to. And it certainly won’t pay for a traditional news desk.”


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