CloudRaker takes its online magazine to the newsstand

January 31, 2013  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

With the publishing industry increasingly shifting from print to online, Montreal agency CloudRaker has taken the opposite approach with its internal magazine, Rake&Co.

The bilingual magazine, inspired by what CloudRaker calls the “cultural, commercial and social goings-on” in Montreal, started life as the agency blog before being transformed into a 120-page bi-annual publication earlier this month.

The publication, created entirely by CloudRaker staffers, is being sold at boutique stores throughout Montreal as well as on online at RakeAndCo.com. The editorial focuses on new boutiques, unusual businesses, local artists, new restaurants and “small curiosities.” A section called “Franglais” features couples who have crossed the language divide.

One feature in the launch issue focuses on a 160-year-old farmhouse that is squeezed between new construction projects in the city’s St. Henri district.

“The magazine is meant to be a snapshot of Montreal today through the eyes of our creative team,” said Christina Brown, vice-president creative director at CloudRaker and editor-in-chief of Rake&Co.

CloudRaker has been investing in internal properties like its iPhone camera app ActionShot and a bike tour/bike shop called Fizt&Follwell for several years, and has wanted to do a magazine for “some time” said Brown.

“Content is a huge part of our business now and building a magazine seemed challenging, exciting and doable with our internal talent,” she said. “The magazine has actually existed for a few years now, only it was online, so publishing a print edition felt like the next logical step.”

Brown said that the online version of the magazine served as incubator for developing internal talent, providing a “low-risk” venue for CloudRaker creatives to experiment with film, editing, photography and storytelling. “All of the skills we develop internally are passed on to our client projects,” said Brown.

The premium-priced publication is ad-free, although CloudRaker plans to explore revenue-generation models. The print edition is complemented by a mobile site that houses a series of short films related to some of the stories.

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