Are You Ready for the Digital Magazine Explosion?
Gloria Adams is passionate about what she views as the emerging role of digital editions in the magazine industry. As senior vice president of audience development and book publishing at Tulsa, Okla.-based PennWell Publishing, she has championed the format since the business-to-business publisher experimented with its first digital edition in 2002. Today, PennWell publishes digital editions of most of its print magazines, as well as digital-only magazines, and has seen subscriptions to these editions grow. “We probably have in excess of 20 percent of our subscribers across the board that now receive their magazines digitally,” says Adams.
Adams spoke with Publishing Executive Inbox about the benefits of a format that she believes is going to “explode,” and why other publishers need to be prepared with their own digital magazine strategies. Adams also will provide greater insights into this topic when she leads a panel of other industry experts during the “The 2008 Digital Magazine Symposium” at the upcoming Publishing Business Conference in New York March 10-12. Visit http://www.PublishingBusiness.com for more information on the Symposium or to register for the conference.
Inbox: How has PennWell benefited from offering digital magazines?
Gloria Adams: … I started working with one of our magazines called Oil and Gas Journal … and one of the first things they charged me with was: How can we grow our international circulation? … [This audience is] a group of people who travel tremendously, who are all over the world, in some pretty obscure places. No matter how much we spend to get magazines delivered to them in a timely manner, it still takes time, no matter how you look at it. … Digital magazines very much met that need [for timely delivery]. … Several of my magazines have a lot of international distribution, and, for them, postage was a huge part of their budget every year. … Digital magazines … cost pennies to send out. … [Also,] we have several magazines that previously didn’t have international qualified subscribers that now are able to offer international subscribers a free subscription as long as they take it digital. So, in many cases, it’s expanded the brand.