New Digital Edition Boosts Online Subscriptions for Paintball Publication
Founded in 2000, Paintball 2Xtremes magazine is a source of news and information for the paintball community. Recognizing the audience is relatively young and digitally inclined, the magazine’s Publisher Cheryl Amata began pushing for a digital edition last year. With the help of digital editions provider E-Book Systems, her staff developed and promoted a digital edition that has spurred online subscription growth of more than 100 percent since the tool’s introduction at the beginning of 2007.
Amata spoke with Publishing Executive Inbox about the importance of a digital edition option for readers, the challenges she faced in developing the new offering, and her thoughts on the key to selling both advertisers and subscribers alike on a digital edition.
INBOX: Are you now selling online subscriptions to the digital edition, and how does the price compare to print editions?
CHERYL AMATA: We are selling them. The price is significantly lower [than the print edition’s price]. It’s only $9.95 [for an annual subscription to] the flip book, because it is electronic and we don’t have to worry about shipping and printing costs. It’s also a great tool to sell [the magazine in] the international community.
INBOX: Is there any concern that your digital edition could cannibalize some of your print readership?
AMATA: I guess there’s always that possibility, but we don’t fear that because our industry is so young and is definitely moving toward the digital domain. We feel that if we can keep our print [efforts] up and [continue to] have a great newsstand presence … we still have the same readership and the same circulation, so we don’t fear that.
INBOX: How long has it taken to see this 100-percent growth in the number of your online subscriptions?
AMATA: We really started [promoting] the flip books about six months ago, and we started having advertisers really buy into it as well pushing their capabilities with the book. So, in turn, that’s made some subscribers want to get the digital [edition] versus print, because the possibilities offer so much more with digital … including music, video embedding and linking to advertisers’ Web sites. So our online subscriptions have just grown tremendously. We had only a handful of online subscribers at first, but now we’re somewhere in the thousands. …