City AM hands over website control to brands

06/06/2016

In a daring move, free London newspaper City AM is letting brands post articles directly into their website content management system with no editorial control.

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The move takes the concept of native content (sponsored posts that look just like regular articles) to the next level.

The advertisers’ contributions will not be edited by City AM’s editorial team.

Brands taking part will be charged an undisclosed monthly fee for a package, and their name will appear at the top of what will be regarded as their home page.

However, articles published by brands in the paper will still be “clearly signposted, according to the newspapers owners.

In addition, some freelance writers and industry specialists will also be given special access to the paper’s content management system to let them upload articles to the site.

The man pioneering the initiative, Charles Yardley, City AM’s chief operations officer, oversaw a similar programme at Forbes, where he was managing director.

City AM now distributes some 96,000 copies a day in the capital while claiming that it attracts more than 1.27m monthly visitors to its website.

Founded in 2005, its ownership company posted losses of £116,000 in 2013 and £625,000 in 2014, following a small profit in 2012.

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