I have occasionally read Salon articles from Facebook and Twitter but I never really thought about what they do as an online magazine and what their goals are for their readers. Surprisingly, Salon’s audience is primarily male, college educated and making almost $100,000 a year. Their median age for readers is 36 years old. Besides the specific ads targeted to me, one ad I saw was for a technology-consulting firm. The magazine seems to be more aimed and agreeable to Democrats and more specifically, democrats who are also in the millennial generation as well. For example, there was a second video ad all about how we “like” things on Facebook and finally in the end, they say its time to start loving things like this new Chevrolet. So you can tell they are definitely reaching towards people in their late 20s and 30s- who can afford a new Chevy at least.
The magazine focuses on news and current events in about seven different categories while coming from a more liberal view. From Salon’s about section on their website they explain to potential advertiser: “With an audience of 17.6 million monthly unique visitors, Salon.com covers breaking news, politics, culture, technology and entertainment through investigative reporting, fearless commentary and criticism, and provocative personal essays. As one of the first solely-online major media outlets, Salon is consistently at the forefront of innovation in the media – from community engagement to advertisement.” For advertising, Salon aims to have a wide variety of advertisements. From their website: “Salon draws an educated, influential and rapidly growing audience that you can reach with a range of high-impact advertising and social media programs.”
There’s a lot of different political and current events magazines out there spitting out information that leans towards one side of America’s political spectrum but I believe Salon is different by putting out more controversial stories than any other current events/ news type magazine. It’s as if they know exactly who their audience is and do not care if anything they publish will offend a certain group of people. Which has proven to be very useful for the recent racial and gender issues, I think.
Salon Media Group, Inc., owns the online webpage and is essentially just Salon. Salon Media Group is a public company that just operates salon.com and uses the webpage advertisement to bring in money. The staff page on the website lists 37 staff members for but they also have many outsiders essentially freelance write for them.
I think the magazine’s layout is perfect for their readers because it is simple but also very tech savvy, which their audience is. For example, on their homepage there is a side bar that is called “voices”. This section shows some of their writers with their picture and a blurb from their latest or most popular article and then an option to follow them on Twitter (if you do not already).
I think the biggest thing they take advantage of, from being an online only magazine, is their use of video ads. Small paper advertisements are easy to skip and look over but videos have to be watched to some extent normally before continuing onto a webpage. This is a good way to get their readers to see the advertisements, which is good for their business. However, they rarely, if ever, have stories using any multimedia posted to the website. At least I have yet to see one, or find one.
There’s really a lot of structure behind the navigation of the website which I think makes it so great because it’s simple. Everything is categorized and since those categories are slightly broad they add subcategories. These subcategories pop up under the top navigation when you scroll over one broad category. These top navigational options range from news and politics to life, technology, sustainability and innovation. There is not so much a logical order, but are solely very thoroughly categorized and organized.