The wisdom of paid online content is still debatable but blog sponsorships and paid content are the most profitable e-media revenue streams, with more than 50 percent of respondents saying they see a profit margin of more than 30 percent from these two products, according to the 2009 FOLIO: E-Media Survey.

However, just eight percent of publishers sell sponsorships against blogs and only 28 percent offer paid content.

Of course, that doesn’t mean blogs and paid content are generating significant revenue at this point. Paid content was the fourth largest e-media revenue stream for magazine publishers today (banner advertising remains the largest).

However, 32 percent of respondents said banner advertising was the least profitable e-media revenue stream, generating profit margins of less than 10 percent, followed by online directories.

The 2009 FOLIO: E-Media Survey tracks e-media performance for magazine publishers including fastest growing revenue streams, product pricing, product investment and e-media profitability. The survey will be available in full later this year.

Most Profitable E-Media Revenue Streams:

Profit Margin > 30%+  
Paid Content 50%
Blog Sponsorship 56%

Least Profitable E-Media Revenue Streams:

Profit Margin < 10%  
Banner Advertising 32%
Online Directories 30%


Source: 2009 FOLIO: E-Media Survey