The Chaser Quarterly ‘trades’ integrity to offer brands native ads in magazine and online

The Chaser QuarterlyThe Chaser Quarterly is set to work with a number of brands in the future after digital communications platform Blrt was the only advertiser to purchase a legitimate full-page ad within its first edition.

The crowd funded magazine officially relaunched this month with a number of The Chaser team contributing content to the first edition.

“What I said before how native advertising was the death of all integrity – I’ve managed to trade in some of that integrity for quite a good price,” Chaser Quarterly co-founder Charles Firth quipped while referencing comments he made to Mumbrella in August before the launch of the magazine.

“They’ll help us fund the content model. Going out on Blrt, and the other technological ideas in the pipeline, there’ll be brands sitting behind those content streams.”

The partnership with Blrt – which is an app that allows users to talk, point and draw over images, documents and web pages – sees The Chaser Quarterly team able to send out daily content.

“We’re trying to push the boundaries of technology and content, obviously print being the most technologically advanced you can get,” Firth said.

“Blrt is the first of a succession of high-tech plays we’re going to do as part of our subscription model. It’s not just one thing – it’s not just print or online content. There’s a few interesting things in the pipeline.

“What we’ve found is advertisers are far more interested in engaging with us in a way that helps us fund innovative, interesting ways of getting content out there then just paying for an ad on the website.”

Blrt's ad in the first edition of The Chaser Quarterly

Blrt’s ad in the first edition of The Chaser Quarterly

Anurag Chakradhar, founder and CEO of Blrt, said The Chaser Quarterly was an attractive advertising opportunity as the readers of The Chaser are the type of people the company wants to attract as first adopters of the app.

“What The Chaser represents is pushing boundaries, new ways of thinking and being cheeky and shaking the status quo if you like and we think it’s aligned to the people we want to attract as first adopters of Blrt,” he said.

“We ended up being the only paid ad in the first edition of The Chaser Quarterly. Not only did we have that ad in the publication, we really integrated with the experience of that publication. We invited the readers of The Chaser Quarterly to really tell The Chaser guys if they should stick to their day jobs of TV or not.

“What they can do is download the Blrt app and there’s a Chaser channel in the app now where you can Blrt on the Chaser.”

The Chaser Quarterly – which initially raised funds through a Pozible campaign – now has 1,600 subscribers across both print and digital, with the publication having recently launched a $5 a month digital subscription.

“We printed 11,000 copies,” said Firth after admitting the 1,600 figure was “tiny”.

“We ended up doubling our print run right at the last minute because our book distributor came back to us and said the response to the PDFs we put out was much bigger then expected.

“There’s good subscription demand since we launched print and we’ve now got a $5 a month digital only. It’s all behind a paywall, you get 10 free articles a month and then people cough up money.

“This whole notion that nobody wants to pay for content, it’s not quite true. In terms of getting the really big hits, you have to make content free on social media.

“We have a deep archive – we have 1,300 articles sitting on the website so people are browsing around the website and then hit the paywall and go ‘$5 a month, yeah who cares’.

“At a marketing level, we’ve linked that idea to the way you can expect new content in the future from us, including video content, will be if you become a subscriber – that’s how you guarantee more content.”

Miranda Ward


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