Where Is The Money In Your Digital Magazine Archive?


The New Yorker has been the most celebrated publication amongst publishers for creating a digital archive that allows them to re-purpose ALL of their content digitally, coffee-table book-style. We are proud to be the digital company who brought their digital editions to fruition, but are even more thrilled to see how well their digital archives have served them in the digital space.

They have a reported 750,000 downloads of various e-anthologies, some paid ($2.99 per issue and up), some part of their subscription model used to entice new subscribers to sign up.

Now, granted The New Yorker has a large, large following and their content is some of the most sought after in the publishing world. Yet there are many publications with subscription bases that rival theirs, and many more small, niche publications with as loyal a following and similar historic content waiting to be made easily accessible. The truth of the matter is that the money doesn’t lie in the size of your subscriber base, but in the way in which you position and market your digital archive content.

Here are 3 key places to focus when monetizing your digital magazine archive, no matter how big or small your niche may be.

1. Bring New Advertisers To Old Content

Having your archives digitized gives you a chance to re-purpose it to advertisers, allowing them the chance to take advantage of Evergreen content that could benefit them now. This gives your advertisers a chance to take control and benefit from your content in a new, less expensive way and add an extra amount of advertising revenue to your bottom line. Forbes, The Atlantic and The Economist are just a few publications taking advantage of this to their benefit. Imagine the digital publishing opportunities available for even smaller, niche publications with devoted followers.

2. Create Enticing Anthologies For Subscribers

The New Yorker does this best, and other publications are finally following their lead. Creating the kind of online publishing anthologies that are short, sweet and exciting to your readers is simple when you have your digital archive in place. You can then share or sell via social media or as added subscription up-sells multiple times throughout the year, to a surprisingly high return on your investment.

3. Simplified Social Media Sharing 

Promoting old articles through your social media platforms is an excellent way to keep your readers engaged on a daily basis with your content, especially when it’s older yet relevant to their current lives. Once your archive is in digital form the sky is the limit to how often and how creatively you can work this into your overall subscription plan, using it as a tool to generate new leads. Epublishers do this best, giving their readers incentives and enticing conversations to stay with them for the long term. You can do the same with your online convert archive.

Overall, having your digital archive gives you a chance to reach deeper into your subscriber base, your advertising revenue and your ideal reader who you want to connect with and keep their attention. There is no better way to position yourself to your niche audience than to creatively provide them with the conversation they are continually looking to have with your publication. Of course, this can also lead to other opportunities such as Enterprise Subscriptions and the like, but you have to have the archive digitized to position your pub for the best possible outcome of online success.

Now over to you. Tell us one way you think can create a monetary gain from your own digital archive. We want to hear your thoughts!