In this article we look at EVO Magazine, specifically its online offering and identify untapped revenue streams.
Note: EVO Magazine is not a client of StrikeEngine, our customer consultations are confidential. The purpose of this article is to give an illustrated example of our services. We have not contacted EVO Magazine for this article, the information used in this article is derived solely from our experience of their website and product as an end customer.
EVO Magazine derives its revenue from advertising (offline & online), subscriptions (digital & offline) and the sale of individual issues.
The Magazine Itself
The articles which appear on their website are generally not the same as the articles that appear in the print magazine. The quality of the prose featured in the magazine articles is generally superior than the average article featured on the website.
Nowhere on the website could we find a way to buy prints of the photos featured on the website or in the magazine.
Digital or physical.
EVO Magazine is famous for the quality of its photography, for there to be no way for a reader to purchase the photos in any form, watermarked or not, digital or physical, is a potentially huge revenue stream that is going untapped.
The back catalogue is simply massive
Offline Articles Online.
As mentioned above the quality of the articles on the website are generally inferior to those featured in the magazine, the length of the articles are also generally less.
To our knowledge the print articles are not available to buy individually through the website. To put it another way, the actual product that EVO is selling is not available to buy through the website and indeed the product does not even feature on the website.
This is a massive omission.
All print articles should be featured on the website as an excerpt, with the option for reader to purchase the full article. This should be run in parallel to its current website content.
As a fan and previous subscriber of EVO Magzine myself I would imagine the conversion rate for this offer would be high, 5%+.
We do not have access to EVO Magazine traffic statistics but if for example 10,000 people a month worldwide purchased just three articles from the website for a dollar, that is 30,000 dollars in extra revenue a month with no additional investment required.
Again, not featuring the actual product that they are selling on their website is a huge omission and gives people not familiar with the magazine the wrong impression of the quality of the penmanship featured in the magazine.
Perhaps the concern is that offering individual articles for sale will cannibalise sales of subscriptions and sales of the physical magazine.
This may or may not happen, either way it does not matter.
The pricing of the individual articles should compensate for this cannibalisation and leave EVO with greater revenue overall not less. The worst case scenario is the price of the individual articles becomes too much and people take out a subscription. This is the worst case scenario….
To give an example
EVO Car of the Year (ECOTY) 2019 is now being featured on the website.
A number of issues/problems
If I were to subscribe to the magazine today I do not know if the first magazine I will receive will actually be the one with ECOTY 2019.
A great feature but it is completely impossible for me to purchase the subscription as I do not know if I will receive the product I want ie ECOTY 2019
This is a major issue but to bring it back to the point ie the risk of cannibalising subscriptions by offering individual articles.
At the time of writing the monthly subscription price is 4.50GBP.
I would happily pay 3GBP to be able to get a downloadable and printable copy of this article (ECOTY 2019) alone. Let alone the other articles which may be of interest in the same issue.
And on that note, where can I see what articles are in the current issue?
I can’t buy the subscription because EVO is not telling me what it is
Going back to the cannibilisation issue
Yes, if I could download and print individual articles I may not subscribe to the magazine but the chances of me buying numerous articles throughout the year is an order of magnitude higher than subscribing for a year.
Sales volume will trump sale value. The number of sales will be an order of magnitude higher, the sales value of a subscription is not an order of magnitude higher than sales value from individual articles.
And again, yes, I would be happy to receive an email from EVO Magazine every time they release a new article as long as I have the option to buy it.
And the last point on selling individual articles, the teaser for ECOTY 2019
The EVO website gives me no information as to how I can get a copy of this particular issue short of going to a shop and buying the magazine.
Great if the country you are in has it in the shops and you have the time to go and buy it (before you forget) but for the remaining billions of people around the world?
Get an annual online subscription which you can not print off at home or take a chance on a print subscription and hope the first issue has ECOTY 2019.
A lot of inconvenience and uncertainty which could be eliminated with a simple “Buy this article now” button on the page of the teaser.
The added benefit of selling individual articles is that EVO will know what type of articles people will pay for instead of simply knowing what headlines people click on.
High traffic articles with no income versus low traffic articles with income, the preferable outcome is obvious.
The sales data will help EVO decide on what articles to focus on, what styles of articles sell, which journalist’s work sells, which car brands sell etc etc etc.
And with regards to their huge desire for a recurring revenue stream, EVO will be able to contact the past purchasers of these articles whenever they wish through their newsletter.
It may be different now but in our experience it is not possible to print the digital version to read offline.
Even for those of us who love the convenience of downloading the product as soon as it it available it is a deal breaker not to be able to then print off the product to make its consumption easier ie not having to use an electronic device to read the magazine.
Any reason not to buy the magazine should be eliminated.
If the concern is plagarism, it is straightforward for EVO to put a unique customer identifier on digital issues. This will enable them to identify the source of plagiarised copies which may circulate.
You have to do some digging to find prices of print and digital subscriptions ie it is not one click away.
Maybe not a problem to someone who knows the product but to someone who is new to EVO and simply wants to buy, not making it a one click process to see all the product options and prices is a mistake.
We are not talking about a site selling hundreds of different products, EVO has just two products, physical and digital with combinations thereof.
Following on the theme of selling individual articles.
We see no option to buy a single one-off digital issue. Why?
Yes, recurring revenue is the ultimate goal but there is also a place for one-off sales. Intelligent pricing can be used to make the price of the product you want to sell more attractive while at the same time giving people total flexibility and a real “no-contract” option.
If offering one-off issues of the magazine is seen as a problem it is because it has not been priced correctly.
(And as mentioned above selling individual issues is not even possible at the moment because it is not possible to see what is in the issue or past issues)
In our experience of the EVO magazine website it features advertising from Google Ads.
This is frankly astonishing.
EVO Magazine employs a staff whose specific job, is to get businesses to advertise in the magazine.
ie EVO Magazine has a wealth of experience in monetising its content through advertising.
So the question has to be asked, why is EVO Magazine using Google’s advertising expertise instead of it’s own?
Why are the companies advertising in the print magazine also not featuring on the website?
For markets where EVO readership is low, we can understand using Google’s advertiser catalogue but in EVO’s home market the UK?
Given the expertise on staff we find it hard to believe that EVO’s own advertising department cannot trump the revenue coming from the generic service offered by Google.
Assuming the CTR on the Google ads appearing on the website site is somewhere between 0.5 and 1% with a CPC of between 5 & 10 cents.
Our recommendation is to tie offline advertising in with online advertising, the revenue should be higher. it is not difficult to offer existing, print advertisers a price per click model without involving Google.
The digital issue of the magazine also gives EVO the ability to customise the advertising appearing in the digital version.
For example the digital version of issue one 2019 which is bought as a back issue in January 2020. It could feature the ads from January 2020, the ads in the old edition would be up to date.
This is just one example of how EVO can customise the ads appearing in the digital version of its magazine, the possibilities are unlimited.
EVO Magazine has four key revenue streams which are not being exploited. The goal must be to harness these possibilities and constantly adjust the proposition until all the product offerings are in harmony, offline, online, individual, subscription.
The sale of individual prints
Offer high resolution images for download and physical delivery worldwide. For this immense back catalogue to be sitting gathering dust is incredibly shortsighted. (We assume EVO is not offering their images for sale on other platforms) There are countless photos which we would like to have as posters, if they are watermarked with “EVO” so be it.
The sale of individual articles
Pricing levels will always be a work in progress with adjustments made on demand and the importance of the article in selling the issue of the magazine as a whole. Nevertheless, there is a product here that people will buy, the pricing simply has to be correct. Correct meaning increasing overall revenue even if this tactic cannibalises the sale of other products.
Getting data on which articles are popular opens a world of analytical possibilities. What type of photos sell, what type of subject matter sells and so on.
The data may not be priceless but it cannot be bought (with any credit card).
The sale of one-off digital issues
Again, cannibalisation is always the fear however the real fear should be loss of revenue. With correctly priced individual digital issues overall revenue can increase. Cannibalisation is only bad if it negatively effects revenue. Correct pricing can be used to drive increases in subscriptions.
Increase ad revenue from online advertising
In markets where EVO operates, why the magazine is choosing to share its profits with Google when it has its own advertising sales department is a mystery.
Three main issues with using Google.
1.EVO is splitting it’s revenue with Google.
The ads being shown in the website are not as relevant as they would be if EVO had control. This cheapens the magazine and reduces the CTR which reduces revenue.
2.Companies which pay for offline advertising have to use other methods to get their ads onto the EVO website. The process for would-be advertisers is not seamless.
3.EVO is not able to roll out its own automotive advertising network.
EVO charges companies in exchange for eyeballs. EVO’s own advertising network could be made available to the plethora of free automotive content websites and blogs that are being produced every single day. EVO’s own version of Google Adsense.
A massive increase in the amount of people seeing EVO run advertising means a massive increase in EVO’s advertising revenue.
The difference being EVO’s ad network would be highly focused and relevant and perhaps most importantly, vetted by EVO itself.
We can easily see this revenue stream being spun off into a stand alone business.
The world needs a competitor to Google advertising, what automotive related website would not want to diversify its revenue stream away from Google Ads and have EVO vetted businesses ads appearing on their website?
EVO has huge potential to increase it’s revenue from the activities it already does. The online sales proposition is effectively nonexistent comparing what it offers now to what is possible.
In other words we see the possibility of huge revenue increases with very little extra expenditure. The content is already being created but it is not realising it full earnings potential.
The website has random articles and on this basis EVO is hoping to convert people into subscribers.
At the moment there appears to be little if any meaningful integration between the website, the magazine itself and the online sales offering.
We would go as far as to say they all appear to be run as independent entities and in our opinion this is not correct.
The implementation of the ideas in this article would force the three entities to integrate their activities into a cohesive product, the result being increased conversions and massively increased online revenue with little or no extra investment, the product already exists.
StrikeEngine is an online publisher and management consultancy. We specialise in promoting and developing automotive businesses throughout the world since 1998.
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