How a tablet app can increase your readership

By Craig Morrow & Will Steuber, MEI

As a magazine publisher, you know that gaining new readers and keeping your existing ones are two important aspects of running a profitable business. One of the greatest benefits of publishing to tablet devices is that this growing medium can play a significant role in increasing both of those success metrics. Having exciting, highly interactive content that remains fresh is important, and being able to sustain it is just as critical. But with those basic building blocks in place, tablet devices can absolutely help you grow and retain your subscriber base.

Recently, Adobe released data that shows “tablet magazine readership is engaged and willing to pay for high value content. In the last year, readers have downloaded 16 million publications built with Digital Publishing Suite.”

Additionally, Adobe released the following analysis:

•     68% of tablet consumers worldwide pay for digital magazines built with Digital Publishing Suite
•     15% of purchases are single issues
•     26% are subscriptions through the tablet app store
•     27% are through direct entitlement (bundling digital with print subscriptions)

I think it’s fair to say that consumers are ready, willing and able to pay for tablet content.

Here are the top reasons why we think these devices can help you gain a larger audience that interacts with your publication in a much deeper way:

  1. A wider demographic net  – Tablet devices are attracting new potential readers that go beyond most publishers’ target markets. As a result, a wider net can be cast to attract new readership.
  2. Direct Entitlement– By bundling subscription packages and providing bi-directional incentives (print to digital and digital to print), you’ll make it easier for readers to purchase and consume your content.
  3. Cross-sell and upsell opportunities – Providing readers with a convenient, intuitive means to discover and buy related products is very important to publishers. This is the “Holy Grail” in many ways, and tablets are making it much easier.
  4. E-commerce made simple – Marketers will tell you that too many clicks is never a good thing when it comes to electronic purchasing. Highly integrated purchasing methods through Adobe Digital Publishing Suite keep your potential buyers where you want them: in front of your content with very little distraction.  

As we’ve dug into the market analysis and data over the past year, we’ve learned that readers truly value the level of interactivity and subsequent engagement offered by their iPads and other tablets. Readers are spending more time with apps, and new consumers are able to find the content they like or never knew existed. Best of all, they are willing to pay for it.

To be clear, great content is at the root of all of this and without it, there’s no magic button. But when you have it, these devices open up a very wide spectrum of options for you to reach new readers and reinvigorate your existing audience with a new, more engaging medium.

Craig Morrow is Director of Strategic Accounts and Will Steuber is Director of Creative Services at MEI. MEI was founded in 1990 as Managing Editor Inc., with the goal of providing innovative software solutions to the rapidly evolving publishing industry. Today the company delivers a comprehensive package of digital publishing, editorial workflow and automated ad layout systems for magazines, newspapers and other print and electronic publishers and communicators. Visit the MEI website to learn more about their services.