Can Digital Editions Be Sexy?
● "When publishers are concerned about open rates, we find they're really concerned about readership," notes Grimm, "and there are many ways to more readily affect that than e-mail template changes."
The ability to understand audiences is not diminished with branded reader apps. According to publishing services provider Yudu, nearly 40 percent of users who download a reader app supply opt-in data. The highest rate of user registration—41.48 percent—takes place with magazine apps, according to "The Yudu Report," a study released in May. ● So, asking for data can be a great source of potential customers to market to and leads for advertisers. (Those who downloaded promotional catalog and brochure apps also are willing to supply personal information at a fairly high rate—at 37.48 percent and 38.65 percent, respectively.)
The average reading time for magazines on the iPad is increasing over time, the Yudu study found. An examination of the 10 most recent issues of Yudu-created publications found a 50-percent increase in reading time for magazines on the iPad. In general, time spent on the iPad increases as users become more familiar with features on the device, according to a survey by Business Insider, cited by Yudu.
As for return rates, 64 percent of magazine readers return to an app, on average coming back 3.7 times, the study found. A high rate of downloaded software updates (33.7 percent of all downloads) also indicates a high rate of interaction with magazine apps, "User retention is particularly important for edition-based magazines, whose sales are largely driven by customers returning to the app when new content is available," according to the study.
The study also shows an upward trend in in-app purchasing for Yudu customers, with very high percentage increases in January (53 percent more than the previous month) and February (81 percent over January). While the rate of increase slowed in March (to 8 percent over the previous month), it was still significant. "The relative consolidation of downloads in March demonstrates a new plateau being reached in the popularity of the in-app purchase system," the report concludes. "Even though the up-front payments still make up the largest revenue portion for iPad apps, the data suggests that the revenue stream from in-app purchase is on the increase."