New AudioMag: Jason Maghanoy on Creating Content in Partnership with Brands

Photograph of Jason Maghanoy
Jason Maghanoy

Creating new revenue streams for publishers is always a top priority for sales and marketing teams. And to do that, publishers are creating new products and programs that, in partnership with brands, generate revenues while providing readers with engaging storytelling.

Jason Maghanoy is the director of membership and partner success at Toronto Life and he recently shared some of his thoughts on best practices with AudioMag.

“I think that it’s one thing to try something when you’re looking to add a revenue stream, but there’s the other side which is making sure that you’re organized properly to be successful to do that,” says Maghanoy. “There’s that thing that would happen in old school media where people would sell print ads and give a contest for free, or digital for free. You have to have a growth strategy attached to that. Your content strategy for the platform needs to be super engaging. You have to grow your audience in that space and at the same time you can monetize it. But if you just focus on one thing like sell a bunch of posts on Instagram, that’s not very good for a growth strategy.”

Engaging Storytelling

One approach Maghanoy has seen a great deal of success with is creating great content in partnership with brands. When he oversaw partnerships at NOW Magazine, he introduced an artist-in-residency program.

“People weren’t buying direct on the digital front,” says Maghanoy, “So what could they offer clients that allowed them to have a storytelling vehicle?”

The basic premise was someone could come in and be a resident in the same way an artist would be in resident at a theatre. “The client would pay for time as opposed to impressions,” he explains. “They would have a set time and they would have access to every part of NOW‘s platform.”

Penguin Random House Canada was brought back into the NOW fold as an advertiser, after having not advertised in any traditional way with NOW for several years. The residency allowed PRHC to introduce some of their authors to the NOW audience.

They built a custom content strategy together and published across all parts of the platform.

Skills on Board

Creating some of these approaches requires an understanding of the platforms available to publishers, and how to execute the strategy that has the longer-term goal of consistent revenue generation.

Designing and rolling out new revenue models requires a team that is on top of all of the moving parts.

“One of the things that’s really important is constant learning. Constant on-boarding. I think one of the things we used to do at NOW was every Friday we’d have a pitch session,” Maghanoy says. “You come to the table with ideas for a client and work it together. So getting people excited was really important.”

Keeping editorial teams and sales teams separate, yet in tune with the needs of one another is key as well.

“Yes, it’s incredibly important to have those distinctions, but not having those barriers between different departments be a deal breaker,” he explains. “You need to create content with integrity created by the marketing and sales content department but absolutely aligns with the editorial vision of the brand, and make sure we don’t stray from that. We need to tell stories that matter with our readers and editorial as a guide post that helps with that.”

Hear more of Jason’s conversation with AudioMag host Tina Pittaway.

MagNet 2019: April 24–25

Jason will also be speaking at MagNet: Canada’s Magazine Conference on April 25 about revenue diversity—membership, events, custom digital, data sets and marketing services. Register for this and other great sessions by March 22 for the early bird rate.

Find more episodes of AudioMag in our resource centre. Subscribe to our Cover Lines biweekly industry newsletter for magazine media, and we’ll let you know when we release a new episode.

AudioMag is produced by Tina Pittaway, an award-winning independent writer and broadcaster. Tina has been a contributor to CBC Radio and Television for more than 20 years. Her radio documentaries have been recognized with honours from the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, the New York Festivals, Amnesty International and the Gabriel Awards. Visit Tina online at to learn more about her work.

Ontario Creates / Ontario Créatif   Logo for the Government of Canada Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des arts du Canada

AudioMag is made possible with the support of Ontario Creates.

Magazines Canada acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage, as well as the Canada Council, for this project.


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