Increasing Consumers' Awareness of Digital Editions
Our hope is that it will inspire people to enjoy reading digitally. If they like the experience, they can come back to the site, or to Zinio.com and purchase additional magazines (either annual subscriptions, single issues or back issues). For the GoReadGreen.com effort, a portion of the proceeds of all sales are being redeemed for eco-unit credits that contribute to tree-planting efforts at schools around Earth Day 2009.
Inbox: How did the idea for The Read Green Initiative develop?
Maggiotto: The initiative was a concept that fit both the circulation-growth requirement [of the digital editions] and the need for consumers to feel like they are doing something good for the environment, both without affecting the bottom line. It was an easy decision for us.
The Read Green Initiative was inspired based on two unique trends in media ... . First, we were seeing that reading publications digitally was growing at triple-digit rates year over year, but most mainstream consumers still were unaware of the reading alternative. For that reason, we hoped that this effort would speed up adoption.
Secondly, research conducted in late 2007 indicated that, for the first time, one of the growing reason people were choosing a digital publication over print was because of a perceived positive environmental impact. While the entire publishing industry has initiated a number of efforts to improve the ecological impact of magazine printing and distribution, primarily led by the [Magazine Publishers Association], we wanted to build on that momentum.
Inbox: How long will the Read Green Initiative run? What are your goals for the program?
Maggiotto: Right now, the program is set to run for at least a year, definitely through Earth Day of next year and beyond. Our goals are: to raise consumer awareness of digital reading; to help consumers feel like they are doing something beneficial for the environment; and to provide our publisher partners with the opportunities to expand their audience, grow their brands, and usher in the golden age of publishing through this collective and groundbreaking effort.