Digital Editions Provider Offers Digital Circ-building Tips and Other Advice to Publishers
Digital magazines continue to be a polarizing topic among publishers. Some see them as central to the industry's future; others claim they're likely just a passing fad. Still, they continue to become more entrenched in most publishers' digital strategies, and the rise of mobile devices and e-readers offers publishers more platforms on which to display their content.
Ben Edwards, marketing manager for PageSuite, a U.K.-based digital editions provider, told Publishing Executive Inbox that he believes the Apple iPhone and smart phone applications in general provide publishers and their digital magazines with a wealth of opportunities.
INBOX: More publishers are considering shuttering their print publications for digital-only ones. Aside from the economics involved with the decision, can you offer any insights to help publishers make this decision any more easily? What other major considerations are involved?
BEN EDWARDS: … The labor involved in at least testing digital editions is minimal, as all production processes are automated and the extensive marketing opportunities such as mass e-mail and analytics tools are quick and effective to use. Potential headaches such as subscriber integration, cross-selling archives and customizing editions are easily achieved, as publishers should call upon their account managers for industry tips and help. Software providers have a vested interest in publishers' success in generating genuine ROI, so taking even the most tentative step into digital is met with huge enthusiasm and endeavor from the software providers!
Other considerations: Many customers enjoy the tangibility of a quality magazine, so the publisher should examine what proportion of their customer base is this experience crucial to. The clarity and gloss of magazines can be replicated digitally, which can compensate … for the material loss, and then be enhanced by the addition of rich media and the interactive experience. Customers do still then have the ability to print, export to CD or download editions if they want a portable experience.