digital magazines

When was the last time you picked up a mag­a­zine? How did you access the con­tent? Which ads did you see? What con­tent keeps you com­ing back?

Over the last decade, ask­ing and answer­ing ques­tions like these has become com­mon­place for mar­keters as online mar­ket­ing tools like ana­lyt­ics, tar­get­ing, and remar­ket­ing have improved the way we deliver web expe­ri­ences. How­ever, for mag­a­zine pub­lish­ers, ques­tions like these have remained chal­leng­ing to answer. Can you imag­ine not know­ing which arti­cles or pages on your web­site are being accessed? Painful! For­tu­nately, that’s all changing.

Mag­a­zines go Digital

Over the last year and a half, mag­a­zine pub­lish­ers have been aggres­sively pur­su­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties pre­sented by the explo­sive growth of tablet and dig­i­tal read­ing devices in the mar­ket (Apple sold 9.25 mil­lion iPads in last quar­ter alone). These devices offer an oppor­tu­nity to deliver a truly unique con­tent expe­ri­ence; and, as I’ve pointed out in other posts, deliv­er­ing the right expe­ri­ence to the right device can have sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive impact on user interactions.

While we know users inter­act with each medium dif­fer­ently (print, web, mobile, dig­i­tal mag­a­zines, etc.), deliv­er­ing the right con­tent in the right for­mat while remain­ing prof­itable in each chan­nel can be a daunt­ing task. That’s why the new medium (tablet and dig­i­tal read­ing devices) requires a new strategy.

digital publishing suite overview

To address, pub­lish­ers like Condé Nast have started deliv­er­ing dig­i­tal edi­tions of their printed mag­a­zines to tablet devices. Using a con­tent cre­ation process sim­pli­fied by Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Pub­lish­ing Suite, pub­lish­ers are able to deliver rich con­tent expe­ri­ences dif­fer­en­ti­ated from print OR online con­tent.

In many respects, dig­i­tal mag­a­zine edi­tions offer the best mix of both print and online for­mats. Mag­a­zine con­tent may be pur­chased and accessed like printed edi­tions while retain­ing the rich con­tent and inter­ac­tiv­ity of online expe­ri­ences. It’s a win-win for read­ers and pub­lish­ers alike.

Met­rics go Digital

With the move to dig­i­tal mag­a­zine edi­tions, pub­lish­ers have not only unlocked a truly unique con­tent expe­ri­ence but also accessed insights into how users inter­act with dig­i­tal mag­a­zine con­tent. With the ana­lyt­ics included in dig­i­tal mag­a­zines, pub­lish­ers can still deliver top-line met­rics about the size of their mag­a­zine audi­ence as with print; but they can also delve into details about how users inter­act with arti­cles, ads, and other mag­a­zine con­tent. Among other ben­e­fits, insights gained help pub­lish­ers and adver­tis­ers improve mag­a­zine con­tent for readers.

In fact, mea­sur­ing dig­i­tal mag­a­zine usage has already yielded pub­lish­ers a rich har­vest of insight into mag­a­zine usage which wasn’t avail­able a year ago. One of the top find­ings? Dig­i­tal mag­a­zine usage is dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent from pat­terns estab­lished in both online web brows­ing and offline mag­a­zine reading.

Last week, I attended a break­fast hosted by Condé Nast where they announced emerg­ing trends and key met­rics they are using to drive insight for their dig­i­tal mag­a­zine edi­tions. Condé Nast is an early leader in cre­at­ing dig­i­tal edi­tions of their mag­a­zines and now has nine titles avail­able on the iPad. As you can see from the chart below, user inter­ac­tions on dig­i­tal edi­tions are dis­tinct from both print and web.

digital magazine time spent

Indus­try Standards?

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with Adobe, Condé Nast also kicked off a dis­cus­sion around what met­rics pub­lish­ers and adver­tis­ers should stan­dard­ize on to be suc­cess­ful in this new medium. You can find the press release here: Condé Nast and Adobe Col­lab­o­rate to Define Met­rics for Mag­a­zine Dig­i­tal Edi­tions.

The key met­rics sug­gested by Condé Nast and Adobe include met­rics from the print world like cir­cu­la­tion as well as met­rics from the online world like engage­ment (you can see the full list of met­rics in the screen­shot below or by read­ing the press release). While many of these met­rics will sound famil­iar, they have char­ac­ter­is­tics unique to dig­i­tal edi­tions and we will con­tinue to work with Condé Nast to iden­tify and refine these metrics.

digital magazine key metrics

While the dig­i­tal mag­a­zine pub­lish­ing and adver­tis­ing indus­try has a long way to go before dig­i­tal edi­tion met­rics are stan­dard­ized, the col­lab­o­ra­tion between Adobe and Condé Nast marks a cru­cial first step.

So, what met­rics do you think should be indus­try stan­dard for dig­i­tal pub­li­ca­tions? Join the dis­cus­sion by adding your com­ment below or by reach­ing out to us at tabletmetics@​adobe.​com.

You can also read more about our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Condé Nast in these arti­cles:
Adweek: Condé Nast to release tablet met­rics
paid​Con​tent​.org: Condé Nast And Adobe Try To Get A Han­dle On Dig­i­tal Mag Met­rics
Folio: Col­lab­o­rat­ing with Adobe, Conde to share met­rics with pub­lish­ers, adver­tis­ers
eme­dia vitals: Condé Nast, Adobe pro­mote new met­rics for dig­i­tal editions