Like the rest of us, The New York Times' Steven Kurutz noticed an explosion in the number of online shelter magazines over the past year. He starts with the void left by Domino, then follows the start-up stories of Lonny (helmed by ex-Domino staffer Michelle Adams), Rue, High Gloss, and Matchbook. There are several digs at the nascent industry — Kurutz writes, "While the magazines are sometimes surprisingly professional, they can feel undercooked in ways one might expect when someone who has never seen a page proof has to create 200 pages of editorial content every few weeks."
Still, these mags are drawing top-tier advertisers and significant readerships. A combination of low operating expenses, advertiser-friendly click-through capability on product photos, and high-level partnerships has made Lonny and its competitors into viable businesses, although Kurutz notes that "none of the magazines would provide specific information on revenue and operating expenses, and while they all claim profitability, just how profitable they are — and how likely they are to develop into anything bigger — is anyone’s guess."
Despite the digs, the shelter and publishing industries — including the Times — are taking notice.
Are you a regular reader of online mags? What did you think of the Times article? Share your opinions in the comments.
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• The Thriving (Online) Shelter Magazine Industry | The New York Times