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Media Martini: Magazines & E-Commerce, Native Ad Guidelines, A ‘Friendly’ Paywall

It’s (finally) Friday! Gear up for happy hour with our list of the week’s best in media, then share your favorite stories with a friend — preferably over martinis.

1. E-Commerce: Will It Work For Magazines?

Dwell Magazine Shoppable edition“Ecommerce is a hugely promising area for magazine publishers” reports the Media Briefing, but getting started isn’t easy, even for specialist publications that seem like a perfect fit.  A look at Bauer Media – which recently launched an iPad app for Italian fashion magazine Grazia, where readers can purchase items featured in the magazine – revealed the drawbacks of using a third-party to get started, and a desire to handle more of the technology in-house. Dennis Publishing admitted a that fear of losing ad revenue stopped the brand from creating a “unified marketplace” that would sell products across many of its titles.

However, Dwell Media believes that “contextualized commerce” is the “winning formula for its audience of design enthusiasts.” Could Dwell’s example of a fully-shoppable magazine issue, enabled by a smartphone augmented reality app, be as much of a “smashing success” for other publishers?

2.  The Atlantic Updates Native Ad Guidelines

To avoid another sponsored content debacle like the ‘Scientology’ ad, The Atlantic has issued three major changes to its native advertising guidelines: 1) a two-part review to make sure advertiser content meshes with the brand, 2) “sponsored content” will be prominently labeled as such, and 3) only the Atlantic will be able to moderate comments, and they will only do so for spam, hate speech, and obscenity. Will other brands follow suit and create a set of standards for native ads – and make them publicly available, as The Atlantic has?

3.  Andrew Sullivan’s “Friendly” Paywall

Andrew Sullivan's The DishOn Monday, Andrew Sullivan officially “declared independence,” moving his blog from the Daily Beast to its new home. Forbes calls Sullivan’s attempt to cover costs entirely through subscriptions an “experiment in digital news economics.” With enough money already raised to support the site for six months, the paywall (more like a “nice, picket fence..with a gate that latches but doesn’t lock”) is fairly friendly to non-subscribers, always allowing them access to partial content and giving them full access to 7 stories per 30-day period. Will this new, “leaky meter” paywall model work? And once Sullivan has converted most of his existing subscriber base to subscriptions, where will he find more revenue?

Let us know what caught your eye in media this week.