Back »

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.