The Rise of the Digital Publication

Apple iPad

With the growing popularity of e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook and the newly released Apple iPad, magazine publishers are growing increasingly aware of the evolving business case for digital editions. Many are arguing that when marketed properly, digital editions are a viable way to increase overall circulation.

Both the BPA and ABC have defined digital editions in a way that makes them auditable on these new platforms, giving publishers insight into to both growing their circulation and rate base. Many feel that when marketed properly, digital editions are a viable way to increase overall circulation.

“New guidelines allow ABC magazine members to design digital editions that are better suited for the specific distribution device, like the iPad.” (Teresa Perry, SVP, ABC).

When it comes to making a decision on whether to pursue designing and releasing a digital edition suited to one or more of these devices, publishers should consider the readership they’re already missing out on, or what they stand to lose. Due the convenience and immediacy that digital editions and the devices they’re read on afford the reader, many people are beginning to cancel their print subscriptions in favor of their Kindle or iPad subscription.

“Digital is more acceptable to get access. That’s been an area that’s been able to help the digital circulation grow.” (Annette Munroe, Foreign Policy)

It only makes sense that owners of these devices are going to use them to their highest potential, and the opportunity to get rid of that overflowing magazine bin might have been their inspiration to buy one in the first place.

With the case for digital publications growing steadily due to the availability of devices such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad, now might be the time to consider expanding on what you’re currently offering in print.

Goin’ Digital

Barnes & Noble's Nook

A group comprising some of the magazine industry's largest publishers have made plans to create a digital storefront catering to owners of e-readers & other digital devices.

Own a Kindle?; On the waiting list for a Nook? If you’re a proud owner of either one of these popular e-readers, or simply just like to read, then you’re in for a real treat: in early December, an organization consisting of some of the magazine industry’s largest publishers (Time Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith Corp.) unveiled their intentions to develop a new digital storefront, ‘Next Issue Media’ which will give readers access to well-read publications on a variety of digital devices they own. With these publishers collectively representing an audience that’s 140 million readers strong, this news is bound to turn some heads.

“For the consumer, this digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops.” (John Squires, Executive VP, Time Inc.)

Participating publishers have stated their venture is composed of a four-point plan:

  1. to create a highly featured, common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each publication;
  2. to create a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple devices;
  3. to create a digital storefront offering a large selection of reading options; and
  4. to create a selection of advertising opportunities.

Though I personally believe nothing beats the look and feel of a real magazine in your hands, it would be nice to get rid of the big pile of them I’ve been hoarding in the corner…

More Info Here