Archive for January, 2015

Mixed Media, Millennials, and Digital Publishing

“Mixed Media” is basically a term used to describe the choices and methods that we use to access various information. In this context we are referring to advertising and publishing. Every day and in every aspect of our lives, we engage with a mix of digital and print magazine media. Words are everywhere and the delivery methods available for them to reach us are increasing all the time. The platform may change by time-of-day or by need, but engagement with magazine content in a relevant context remains extremely important. People who have become early adopters of new technology are known to be at the avant-garde in many things, and they are generally the first to know and the first to buy the newest of everything.

While people of all generations use a mix of digital and traditional media during the course of any given day, it has become evident that Millennials spend more time with media than any other generation during a typical week, and they choose digital media slightly more than traditional media. All other generations consume more time with traditional media such as print, radio and television, increasing with age.

Most consumers turn to magazine brands at multiple times throughout the day, for a variety of purposes and use a range of platforms depending on their requirements at the time. Most people turn to magazines to fill their needs for down time or relaxation, to gather information for a specific task or project, or to increase their knowledge in some way.

Millennials are comfortable with multiple devices, and are using their smartphones to stay connected at all times. They are very comfortable making connections with companies via social media, and electronic transactions are becoming the default method of making retail purchases of all kinds.

An interesting trend that has been observed in various research studies is that readers tend to be highly focused and engaged with content when it is being viewed on a tablet or smartphone. There is something about the interaction and physical contact that people have with their devices, including touching, tapping, swiping and pinching the screen, that keeps them engaged in the actual content that they are viewing.

Digital magazine readers view the ads within their publications as valuable sources of information almost as much as the editorial articles and general content in the magazine. The ability to engage with ads and content through a variety of media such as video and photo galleries from within the same publication increases engagement, brand perception and calls to action.

Digital magazine readers want to be among the first to know about and buy new things directly from the page. They are quick to spot trends and in fact are the influencers that create trends. They often bookmark pages for future reference and want tools to get details about items shown in magazines that they can compare and buy. Magazines have always had a significant impact on consumer decision making, and the new digital multimedia is increasing that trend.digmedia

Transition From Print to Digital

Web-based and mobile digital magazine options are increasing rapidly, and as they expand, consumers are adopting new reading habits, typically involving both a mix of print and digital formats. Even now, most readers prefer their digital experience to be similar to a print-like experience, even when reading on a mobile device. Mobile, especially smartphones and tablets have the ability to deliver the same great content as well as all of the advantages of interactivity that digital provides. Magazine media continue to meet the evolving needs of today’s tech-savvy consumer, and will change and evolve as required.

It has become very clear that digital adopters and readers of digital media want a print-like experience on their tablets, smartphones and desktops.

Tablets such as the iPad, Kindle and other e-reader devices, including the newest smartphones, introduce the potential for quite a different reading experience—one that closely resembles print, but with many more bells and whistles. Increasingly, the larger screen size devices can now offer an opportunity to replicate the lean-back experience of the print magazine, only better.

At this point in the digital revolution, consumers still prefer to use both print and digital media when consuming news, although there is now an expectation among tablet and smartphone readers that the experience mimic print reading along with the bonus of interactive features.

Although right now the majority of readers prefer the traditional news-reading experience, a quickly-growing number are expressing a preference for interactive news-reading experiences, especially after they have had time to explore and learn the new media.

All in all, it appears that to date, magazine readers have high satisfaction with their digital subscription experience. Easy access and interactivity lead the benefits that digital magazine edition subscribers value most. Magazine publishers that are investing in digital are more and more investing in native app development. The varied, rich, visual content that is a magazine makes the transition to digital a no-brainer, and native apps cater to the needs of publishers and readers alike.


Magazine readers tend to continue to use the native magazine apps over time in larger numbers than newspaper or business publication readers. They also are usually willing to accept and interact with ads in apps as long as the apps are free. Magazine readers tend also to be willing to share other data such as location and demographics in return for more relevant services and offers.

According to the Magazine Media MPA Factbook 2013/2014 Magazines that are available to readers on multiple devices per subscription see that the number of reading sessions per month & the number of pages read per session see increases. When magazines are available on both devices, more than 1 in 4 say they have increased their reading time spent with magazine media (both print and digital). Over the last year, time spent per reader has averaged 30 minutes with each digital issue and readers have

accessed digital issues an average of 2.5 times. For the same brand, digital magazine readers spent more time with ads enhanced for tablets (EFT) than with straight from print (SFP)—almost twice as much.

At this time in the evolution of mobile devices, reading magazines on tablets is preferred to smartphones. This is directly attributed to screen size and the mobile formats currently available. The vast majority of tablet owners have read a digital magazine on their device and many of the publications were not those that would have been read in paper format. It has been mentioned many times that advertisement recall is similar across both print and digital, while digital advertisements excels and outperforms print when it comes to generating further interaction with the brand via the brand’s website, social media, etc. The longevity of digital magazine content and the increased life of ads n digital magazines is evidenced by the ability of digital subscribers to save and read back issues of magazines.