Archive for December, 2014

What Devices Are We Using? Often, it’s a Tablet

At this time, tablets are obviously the format most sympathetic to the traditional print publication.  Print publishers who are going digital are initially migrating to the tablet platform because it allows them to recreate a magazine experience with the ability to flip from article to article in a format really well suited to long-form reading. In this stage of the digital publishing revolution, advertisements that appear in digital publication apps, like their print parents, are often full pages that are displayed between articles and are fully interactive with video, games and links to social media and other internet activities.

Smartphone developers are increasingly addressing the desires of their users. By encouraging and supporting the development of mobile apps specifically created to take advantage of the features available on the devices, they also are mitigating the effect of having to present a full range of features on a tiny screen. We are seeing that globally, the Android operating system is beginning to overtake the iOS offered by Apple. Growth is being fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers, mostly outside of North America.

The North American tablet owner tends to be younger than the world average and they are typically more engaged with technology products in general. Mobile ownership among young Canadians and Americans is higher than the world average. They are the first to buy new electronics and advanced technology.

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Good news for digital publishers is that advertising in digital magazines, including tablet and smartphone formats, continues to expand. One of the draws is the interactive capability within applications. Digital videos, social media connectivity and the ability to get instant feedback through various surveys and quizzes all contribute to the engagement in the new advertising media.

Advertisement receptivity is very much dependent on location, time of day and device being used. It is becoming clear that specific devices are generally used in specific places and at predictable times of day. PCs are used more during work hours, smartphones are most used in the morning and when in transit, and tablets are used at home, after work and into the evening. These are just general guidelines but a solid trend is developing. Ad receptivity is greatest using tablets at home during leisure time and with smartphones while travelling via public transportation, given that people have available time to peruse their devices and are most relaxed and open to advertisements.

Older demographics are more comfortable using the tablet format, due to the larger screen size and more simplified operation of the device. Some older people prefer reading on tablets over print due to the ability to increase font size as required and the bright backlit screens which enhance contrast.

Over all demographics, reading books, magazines and newspapers are the preferred activities performed on tablet devices, and tablet users also tend to respond to advertisements for items that they are actively shopping for when viewed on their tablets.

Digital Magazines Offer Many Benefits to Readers, Businesses and Advertisers

The publishing industry is changing fast, and the opportunities for all aspects of the industry are vast. In addition to the amazing potential the new technology offers to publishers and advertisers, the real winners will ultimately be the end-users. Readers have a lot to look forward to in the near future, and the possibilities have not even begun. Among the many extra benefits that digital magazine media offer to readers compared to traditional print include:

  • Availability – Digital issues keep on giving. Readers have a virtual library of everything they might want to keep. Current and back issues may be accessed immediately online, or downloaded and stored on a personal device. Subscription services keep increasing benefits to subscribers and develop new ways to engage and keep readers.
  • Interactive Extras – Digital issues provide access to videos, interactive articles and advertising, quizzes and surveys to engage the reader, and extra pictures and deeper reporting for heightened impact.
  • Fast, reliable access – Readers looking for specific information can arrive at a digital magazine page just as easily as they may a web site. Digital magazines are dynamic. They can be accessed and read on smartphones, tablets and eReaders, whenever and wherever. They can be stored and shared. Digital magazines deliver time-sensitive information to readers quickly. There is no longer a delay between event and publication.

If all that isn’t enough, digital magazine media offers even more.

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Magazine “brands” are rapidly extending via digital devices to surround their target audiences where ever they live, work and play. Print magazines still remain the consumer’s number one reading choice, but the trend is changing with the maturation of the digital publishing industry. Publishers are actively experimenting with digital content delivery that spans most every platform and device that consumers use. Right now magazine content is almost always available wherever there is connectivity, serving the mass and niche needs of readers. The reading experience is becoming more personal. Readers can feed their needs and passions at the click of a mouse, the press of a key or the tap of a finger.

Advertisers have more opportunity than ever to reach their customers. Trusted content, curated and reliable, is now available to readers whenever they want. The importance of brands to maintain reliable “on point” content and use trusted contributors is more important than ever before. Trusted, curated content never goes out of style. Magazines have always been about high engagement at a very personal level, and digital formats make it easier than ever to engage readers on so many levels. The extra content and interactive features that digital provides offers limitless opportunities to reach readers and consumers.

It is also important to remember that the various digital media are the perfect complement to the printed page. Many people have both a print and digital subscription at the same time, which gives publishers and advertisers multiple opportunities to reach each one. It is becoming apparent that readers take significant actions after noting ads in digital editions, equal to or greater than print magazine ads. They search, visit advertiser websites, have a more positive attitude towards brands and they buy, often right from the page. This is only going to get better, as the technology develops.

Digital Magazine Ads Drive Sales

Magazine advertisements drive consumer response, regardless of medium, but ads in digital publications are especially successful. According to research published by GfK MRI Starch/Starch Digital 2013; ORC Caravan, March 2014; MPA Factbook 2014/2015, 53% of magazine readers made a purchase based on a print ad in their favorite magazine. The goal of advertising in any media is to get consumers to take action. 58% of magazine readers have looked for more information based on a print magazine ad, and that number is even higher (65%) for 25-34 year olds, which is a very sought-after demographic.

Because of the ever increasing ways that advertisers are trying to get attention, consumers are becoming harder to impact in a meaningful way. Magazine ad effectiveness, as measured by advertising recall, and consumer action after reading magazine ads speak directly to the trust that consumers place on magazine content, including articles, editorials and advertisements.

The digital magazine format is particularly suited for creativity in advertisements, including interactive components which increases creativity and the scope of ad campaigns, which in turn drives customers to engage and act. The more creative the offering, the better the recall and sales effectiveness.

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The relationship between print and digital magazines is evolving to become a mutually beneficially paradigm. Print has traditionally been the jumping off point for customer engagement, and the print ads and content are now often the drivers for online searches and direct traffic to publisher’s websites and their digital editions. Magazines are in the top tier for driving online search. Across gender and age demographics, both digital and print magazines successfully drive consumers to search online, ahead of online media and word-of-mouth.

Digital magazine readers are comfortable with new technology are more likely to use the internet for shopping, search and information, blogging and social networking. They read digital magazines for lifestyle information and to keep up with their peers and influencers. Digital magazines prompt all kinds of online action.

Print magazine readers take the next step and use portable digital devices such as tablets and smartphones to extend their interactions by visiting a magazine’s website, where they read articles with additional content available in the digital format to clicking on ads or forwarding an article. It is estimated that nearly half of print readers go online to find more information about the advertising in their printed magazines.

According to the Magazine Experience Study, Sanoma Uitgevers, Time Inc., 2014, print magazine ads with URLs are significantly more likely to drive readers to advertiser websites across a variety of editorial categories. More than a 40% rise in web traffic after consumers were exposed to ads. In addition, QR code usage is increasing among readers 18-34 years of age, which is a perfect example of the evolving print/digital partnership. More and more print magazine advertisers are adopting action items such as QR codes, to offer readers compelling new interactive experiences that engage, educate and entertain.