Can Digital Editions Be Sexy?
What does all this mean for digital editions and apps providers? While Woodwing does not track reading behaviors (leaving this to individual publishers), it does track downloads. According to company spokesperson Stefan Horst, more than 1 million digital issues are downloaded via Woodwing's content delivery system (CDS) a month—or one issue every two seconds.
"Digital edition adoption is as strong as ever," notes Ben Edwards, marketing manager of digital magazine software provider PageSuite. "We've grown 25 percent this year, which is testimony to our clients' ROI."
Digital Editions' 'Lean-Back' Nature
In fact, ask most digital editions solutions providers and they'll tell you the iPad and quickly growing popularity of tablets has had a positive impact on their businesses. As tablets seem to be filling a space in the market as "lean-back" consumption devices, digital editions seem to fit comfortably into the tablets' "lean-back" mold.
The negative side of that, suggests Marcus Grimm, marketing director at digital publishing service provider Nxtbook Media, is that "most digital editions have fewer visitors than websites. Unlike a website, where people are comfortable reading a page and leaving, visitors to digital editions inherently recognize the longer-form content and are less apt to go into it unless they're willing to spend the time. That's the bad news," he says.
The good news? "Those readers who decide to go into a digital edition are willing to make the time investment, thus engagement time compared to corresponding websites is much greater," Grimm notes. "Visits of 20 minutes or more are not uncommon, and the average visitor tends to stay about five times longer than [a visitor] to your website. The digital edition acts as the perfect product for your most fervent fans."
Not surprisingly, suggests Grimm, "the more engaged a reader, the more likely they are to click-through advertisements. Most publishers report a four to six [times] greater click-through rate (CTR) than what they experience on their website."