Corner Office: Breaking New Ground With Google
What archived content is currently available?
Easter: The archive currently contains Ebony issues published after 1960, all the issues of Jet since its launch in November 1951, issues of Negro Digest/Black World (which was the bible of the civil rights movement) from the 1960s and 1970s, and 12 or 13 years of Ebony Jr! magazine. We may decide to archive other publications—such as Tan Confessions and Ebony Man—in the future.
We were already using Zinio to put our current issues online, by the way, but for this project, we were more interested in past magazines.
What content isn’t available?
Easter: Not all of our photo assets are available. Knowing who shot each of the 20 million photos we have can be a very difficult thing, and in some cases, you don’t know whether or not you own a particular photo. So, you can’t separate the assets out. The only way you can use them is to present the whole page in its original context.
Do you have a monetization strategy in regard to this partnership?
Easter: Contextual ads are being sold around the content, which generates shared revenue with Google. And beyond the contextual search ads, we can use the archive to sell our own ads on our site. We now have a couple hundred thousand more pages and a solid foundation of information that we can leverage. We can sell across subject matter, using the decades of health, travel, food or family stories in the archive. We may also create widgets as fun tools and offer iPhone apps.
What role does EbonyJet.com play in Johnson Publishing’s overall publishing strategy?
Easter: EbonyJet.com is only about a year old, and it is more news-oriented than the print magazines. On the site, we are not offering repurposed content, but rather 100-percent original content that is updated daily. If you want to keep people coming back to your Web site, you have to offer more original content, and you must be able to reach out to a younger audience. EbonyJet.com is very much geared for the 25-39 age demographic. The site has an edgier tone, uses its own writers and takes its own approach.