Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Conference coverage: Digital publising

Digital magazines: Do they do more than just save circulation money?

Rebecca Fannin, editor of Digital Magazine News
Russell Haderer, vice president of international operations for BPA Worldwide
and an editor from Advertising Age

Summary: As postal costs continue to rise, digital editions save costs and allow immediate delivery to international subscribers. The BPA formed a task force of publishers and vendors to look at digital magazines and in December 2001, the BPA began reporting digital with print and auditing digital publications. In 2005, 20 consumer magazines reported digital magazines, and 200 B2B magazines had digital publications. Rebecca Fannin said digital magazines are easy to archive and retrieve and are available anywhere and anyplace. She said by sending out an enhanced PDF, it’s possible to instantly update text, and the cost is much lower than publishing a print publication.

Survey results on digital publications
  • Reader had a 10 to 1 preference in sharing articles in digital rather than print.
  • There was a 5 to 1 subscription renewal preference for digital publications.
  • 46 percent of readers decreased their use of or didn’t use the print edition.
  • The most popular age group of readers is 45-49 years old.
  • When asked how many of the last four issues that they read, 61.2 percent read the digital edition and 63 percent read the print publication. About 20 percent of the readers spent an hour reading the digital edition and 27 percent spent an hour reading the print issue.
Case study on Advertising Age
  • Makes full contents available online each Sunday
  • Attracts new readers who don’t want to read the print issue and exposes an 18-year-old franchise to a new audience.
  • 5,000 subscribers with 8.5 percent international readers
  • When they did a survey, 57 percent said they liked that they could access it anytime, 42 percent enjoyed the earlier delivery, 51 percent wanted to search the contents online and 47 percent were looking to access back issues. About 79 percent were satisfied with the product.
  • In 2005, the magazine had 8,389 unique visitors, 43 percent single views and more than 52,000 page views. When it started to include video in its digital publication, it got 20 percent more return visitors and 63 percent more page views.

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