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The Magazine Leaders and Laggards of Online Video

An unscientific survey.

Henry Donahue By Henry Donahue
12/12/2007 -12:24 PM

I was recently wading through the innards of Times business section when I came across this item:

"Video sites need to draw a minimum of 50,000 views a month before getting serious interest from advertisers, Dina Kaplan, a founder of the video-sharing site, told Daisy Whitney of TVWeek."

Inspired, I took a brief, unscientific survey of magazine Web sites and YouTube channels to try to figure out which monthly magazines are gaining online video traction.

Here are some leaders:

  • Maxim: Never mind the whole site, the average individual Maxim video probably gets more than 50,000 page views. And most videos on their proprietary player start with a 30-second pre-roll from an advertiser like Zune or Sony Playstation.
  • Men's Health: Men's Health is a good example of fitting a broad content offering into a standard (Brightcove) technology platform. They also have short, unobtrusive pre-roll advertising, in this case from Acura.
  • Seventeen:'s "Seventeen TV - Style Stars" is an effective use of video from their photo shoots presented via Hearst's Maven-based video player. Like the two sites above, they also appeared to have successfully sold video pre-roll ads.
  • Vogue/ The Conde Nast fashion site, powered by Feed Room, makes great use of fashion show video that complements and amplifies the content from the magazines, with 15 and 30 second video pre-roll to go with it.

And some laggards:

  • Vanity Fair: Vanity Fair also uses mostly video shot at various photo shoots. There are also a few interviews that relate back to content from the monthly issues. The overall impression here though is that the magazine is king and the internet video an afterthought.
  • Reader's Digest: The video gallery (Brightcove here again) links to a user-generated funny video contest. I thought that the winners ("Sassy Too") were adorable, but apparently advertisers do not.
  • Better Homes & Gardens:'s Better.TV (yet another Brightcove implementation) has the editorial feel of your local new station's morning show. Video advertising is sparse.
  • Southern Living: I actually love this magazine (my mom is a subscriber), but I honestly don't think they have any video on their Web site.


Henry Donahue By Henry Donahue -- Henry Donahue is the CEO of Discover Media LLC, the publisher of Discover magazine and Donahue was formerly CFO of Primedia's Lifestyles Magazine Group, a 30-plus magazine division, which included Soap Opera, Crafts, Boating, Equine and History titles.

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