In what could be seen as an irony-laden development, internet portal Madasafish this week launched a paid-for print magazine in a bid to acquire and retain customers.
The self-titled glossy, which has been put together by the contract publishing division of Future, is the first off-line paid-for title to be launched by an ISP, Madasafish claimed.
About 20,000 of the 50,000 print run will retail at pounds 1.50, with the remainder distributed to loyal users. The second edition is planned for the end of December, and the intention is to take it monthly.
Madasafish.com sees itself as a 'funky lifestyle' site for teens to thirtysomethings, with content ranging from MP3 downloads to opinionated editorial on film and music. The magazine will be similarly eclectic, the company said.
'The magazine is another tool in the tool-kit,' a spokesman for the ISP said. 'It will not be a puff for Madasafish but will stand comparison with other consumer magazines.'
Sean Collings, head of business development at Future's contract publishing division, said: 'It seems a bizarre twist, but I'm finding myself talking to a lot of dot.coms.' For on-line players to create off-line products was popular in the US, he said.
Demon and Freeserve offer free off-line publications, and teenage girls' web site Mykindaplace.com is to distribute its own off-line title with January's edition of Sugar.