BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
BPA: Digital Edition Circulation Accelerating
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Overall digital copies now account for 17.8% of circulation among BPA members who declared digital editions on their June 2010 statements. Only a year ago, digital copies comprised 15.7% of overall circulation. Business publishers especially have been making greater use of digital copies as subscription bundles and other custom products. The share of readers accessing the digital vs. the print version of a magazine can climb as high as 91.4% of total qualified circulation—a distinction held by HRW – Hydro Review Worldwide. Other titles with high levels of digital subscribers were Engineering, Inc. (84.2%) and Cosmetics & Toiletries (80.5%).
In terms of raw numbers, Angie’s List magazine had the largest digital circulation, with 535,367; 203,164 of those subs are digital only. Oracle magazine (516,000), Chief Executive China (233,664), NASA Tech Briefs (190,369) and eSchool News (100,000) rounded out the top five in digital circulation for the reporting period ending June 2010.
Clearly, the availability of smartphone and tablet devices for digital magazine viewing is helping to accelerate a trend that has been progressing for a number of years. Digital magazines have always been searching for a proper device. When the Tablet PC was introduced by Microsoft in the early 2000s, digital magazine companies saw that format as a natural platform.
Publisher instincts probably were correct about the tablet format being more conducive to digital magazine reading than a laptop, but the Tablet PC hardware never caught on with business users or consumers. The remarkable appeal of the more usable Apple iPad seems to have convinced many publishers that a form factor suited for digital magazine consumption finally has arrived. By investing in digitizing their print versions now, companies are bringing their content a step closer to these formats.
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