By now, and after a segmented rollout, the new website for TIME Magazine should be out there for all to see. As far as content websites go, it’s not going to blow your mind. What it does, however, is put advertising front and center.
Take a look at that image up there. The Siemens ad is a 900×500 unit that provides a buffer between articles in the scrollable mainbar. That Goldman Sachs ad is repeated every few hundred pixels on the scrollable sidebar.
Many of your typical desktop elements have been either removed or reduced in size to make room for content and ads. Take the menu, for example, that has been slotted into the top-left portion of the site and resembles the functionality you’d normally see on a mobile device.
In fact, the entire website, which is responsive, looks even on a desktop like what you’d get on a mobile device.
You’ll also find a fair amount of native advertising. Yep, ads that look like content — but not so much so that you’re going to be easily fooled into thinking it’s a TIME article.
Take a look at this attached image (right): It’s content from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. You can imagine it’s goal. The content clearly states that it’s from the LVCVA and has a different background color than the rest of the site’s content. It’s sizable, so you’re sure to notice it, and it took me three swipes of my mouse’s scroll wheel to get past it, but it far from destroys the user experience.
TIME is a publication of the old guard that has always depended on a balance between print advertising and subscriptions to keep the lights on. As more readership shifts to digital forms, pubs like TIME are coming up with new ways to put ads in front of online readers.
Still relying heavily on the subscription model, TIME even has an option on its subscriber page to select if you “do not wish to receive the print magazine.” That option wouldn’t be available if users didn’t want it, and that goes to show you how important online advertising will be to TIME’s budget sheet going forward.
Oh, and TIME online? It’s powered by WordPress VIP.
You can read more about the TIME website redesign on TechCrunch.