BREAKING NEWS & VIEWS
Men Like Their Tablet Mags, Too
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The relatively new tablet platform and even newer digital edition formats have a lot of evolving to do, as do their audiences. Not surprisingly, the younger 18-to-34-year-old segment had considerably more interest in digital periodicals than did the average overall. But that high level of interest has to be put into he context of actual behaviors. Asking people what they would be interested in is a far cry from changing behaviors. Thirty-eight percent of all tablet owners have read a digital magazine on their devices in the last six months.
But the most promising behavior sparked by tablets involves the new availability and viability of a back catalog. Almost one fifth (or 19%) of people who have read a digital edition in the last 30 days say they also read a back issue of the title. Anecdotally publishers report surprising back issue sales results in their apps. This takes place even though the current merchandising opportunities in the major digital edition engines like Adobe’s do little to promote back issues. Issue previewing, making available a table of contents, or even creating highlights issues that curate the best of earlier content all could capture this tablet behavior. As is, most digital edition engines offer only thumbnails of covers.
While the early stages of magazine publishing on the tablets has focused on apps, it is important to note that readers are finding several ways into a favorite brand. Gfk MRI finds that 65% of those reading magazine content on a tablet are using the branded app. But another 37% are using digital facsimiles. Perhaps most important, 47% of those accessing magazines are using the magazine’ own Web site via the tablet Web browser. This metric alone should encourage publishers to ensure their sites are tablet-ready.
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