Q&A with Mag+ CEO Gregg Hano on the Future of Magazine Apps
Everybody's got an app or digital edition these days, but not many publishers are ecstatic about how these are performing. Whether it's audience usage metrics that make a compelling advertising case or paid subscriptions that indicate digital will in any way replace print subscriptions, publishers are still looking for the payoff.
If there's a lesson to be learned about digital magazines to date, it's that they are not an if-you-build-it-they-will-come proposition. Just as a the print product requires a marketing and distribution mechanism to get it into the hands of consumers, the digital magazine needs to be put out into the world and offer true value to users.
Magazine publishers need to find ways to engage the customer in a way that is much more incremental, says Mag+ CEO Gregg Hano. Instead of just a place readers go every 30 days to read the latest issue, magazine apps should add value in the form of personalized content, by making the app the mobile portal for web content, and overall, by testing, testing, and testing various strategies.
In this interview Hano offers insight on ways to boost app adoption and usage and what publishers should aim to accomplish in this space in the future.
What have we learn about magazine apps in the past 12 months?
To keep consumers renewing or to identify new subscribers I think what we've learned is that we need to have a better way to communicate with them, we need to have a better way to be discovered, and we need to find out better ways to engage those consumers so that they find the brand -- the app -- useful and interesting and compelling enough to renew year over year.
With print, a reader may see a stack of issues piling up on her coffee table, compelling her to read more. For digital, is it a matter finding a way to remind subscribers the app is there?
Related story: 14 Ways to Enhance the Marketing Power of Printed Magazines
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.