Alyssa Martina discusses Metro Parent's revenue model which like almost all periodicals is based entirely on advertising. However, the free distribution model is different from many periodicals and actually lowers her cost of distribution by avoiding the retail shelves and mailing. The free distribution model is audited to ensure advertisers they are reaching the right target audience in the right numbers.
In this 9 minute segment (download iPod compatible, 47MB), Alyssa Martina discusses Metro Parent's revenue and distribution models. Like almost all periodicals, Metro Parent's revenue model is based on advertising. Advertisers are concerned with two things: (1) How many people you distribute to; and (2) Who those people are. News stand sales and subscriptions are actually loss leaders in the industry and mainly serve to help tabulate the two items advertisers are interested in.
At Metro Parent's inception, Alyssa determined that it could not afford the loss leader strategy required for traditional distribution channels, so she opted to go with the free-controlled distribution approach pioneered by alternative magazines (e.g., The Boston Phoenix). She places her magazines where parents are most likely to congregate, quality supermarkets and libraries. An independent agency monitors both the number of magazines distributed and where they are placed (BPA Worldwide is one such agency).
It's interesting to contrast the different distribution strategies announced by this site's participants in the publishing industry. Alyssa depends on physical placement so that her shoppers just pick the magazine up. Lou Rosenfeld, discerning that his audience is among the most digitally capable, relies on electronic word of mouth. His revenue model depends on selling packaged information in the form of books while Alyssa's depends on verified delivery of advertising messages. In future segments, we will examine how Alyssa is moving into the world of digital media.