Backpacker Magazine: Publishing Vistas
Backpacker, published by Active Interest Media, created its first digital edition in October 2011 using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Professional Edition. Since then, the magazine has embraced digital publishing with monthly, as well as special versions, and upgraded to an Enterprise Edition license with even more functionality.
Anthony Cerretani, deputy editor and digital director for Backpacker, says, “It’s a brave new world in terms of what print readers are doing and what iPad subscribers are doing. With Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Enterprise Edition, we can track click-through rates for advertisers, as well as look at the demand for special issues, enabling us to better address what appeals most to our readers.”
Readers seem to be responding, with Backpacker reaching number 16 in Apple Newsstand rankings and receiving a four-star ranking on iTunes. The new subscription base for the digital edition increased by a factor of six with the March 2012 issues and the April issue resulted in a high water mark for both app shell downloads, revenue, and subscriptions.
Advertisers also like the new format and the added opportunities for visibility. For its fall Gear Guide, REI sponsored the entire issue and created an introductory video. The issue also included 360-degree product rotations and slide shows that explained gear in visually interactive ways. Backpacker anticipates driving even more revenue from its iPad edition with added Digital Publishing Suite, Enterprise Edition functionality, such as the ability to add custom slots that let readers link out to other interesting content from within the app.