Roar.lk is an online content platform that I was involved with in its early years. It started off as an idea in the mind of M who with the help of another M brought it to life. It was initially not to be a money making scheme, had we put in the time and energy elsewhere I’m sure we could have created a much more profitable venture. No, we did this because we believed it was needed.
We did have our differences about this product, ones that we endlessly debated at a table at Whight & Co and then at Commons. Before the multiple brands, full office and the 20+ staff all over the world, it was just a bunch of freelancers meeting up at coffee shops.
I still remember the first time M bought up the whole print magazine idea. We were waiting for the cashier to tally up our bill at one of the aforementioned coffee shops. It had been another meeting about direction, content creation and expansion. Picking up a magazine on display on the table below he queried:
“What if we do print?”
We didn’t have the resources to maintain a website let alone a magazine which would cost more to kick start. I dismissed it right away.
While the rest of the world is giving up on printed publications driven by a drop in readership, sales and migration to online mediums, Sri Lanka is still riding the magazine wave strongly. There are two reasons as to why magazines still receive advertising revenue. The prestige that is associated with plays a part. The other is the access. If you don’t advertise in the Hi! Magazine how else do you expect to reach the affluent middle-aged women of Colombo and Melbourne.
If you go to a client such as Colombo Jewellery Store (that advertises on almost every bug magazine) they will not hesitate to advertise in a magazine. Advertisers guarantee circulation in the thousands to the most affluent of areas (coffee shops, airport lounge, 5-star hotels etc) ensuring your brand will get undocumented exposure.
In March 2017, the first issue of Roar print came to life. The reason this magazine, an idea dismissed ages ago, came to be in a thick magazine showcasing some of the best articles that Roar had ever published. The rich content platform was now richer, spreading its reach from beyond the web world to places it never reached: offices of CEOs, cafes in the south coast of Sri Lanka even into homes of individuals.
After 3 years Roar is still going strong — rich, multi-medium content, presented in a clean manner that is engaging and thought-provoking. Exactly where it’s meant to be. The only direction is now up.
Released every quarter, keep an eye out for the Roar magazine, free of charge or read more at www.roar.lk