Brief Case Study: Digital Magazine v. Website • Nxtbook Media

Brief Case Study: Digital Magazine v. Website

Written by Nxtbook Media

Last week we posted a case study on The American Prospect and how this publisher used digital supplements to increase circulation and push paid subscriptions. (If you missed the study, you can download it here.)

But there’s another side of the story. Increased circulation is certainly a goal of publishing, but increased reader engagement is crucial to proving content value. The question remains: what medium provides the best reader engagement? The American Prospect Advertising Manager Ed Connors points to his website and digital edition analytics to answer that question.

As the full case study points out, the content published to their website and their digital editions is comparable; content is pulled from the Special Report and monthly magazine onto the website. Yet the website material doesn’t spread virally like the Special Report, and tracking metrics show it has a lower engagement time.

Connors reports, “Our numbers overall for the digital magazine and Special Report are much better than our website.” He went on to say the Omniture tracking enabled for the digital editions are much more specific than website data, and from this, “we’re seeing much longer engagement in the digital edition. More pages and more time spent on it.”

Connors attributes part of the success to the format inherent to digital editions: “You have everything all in one place, easy to use, in a fun-type format. A lot of people are seeing this for the first time, and they’re flipping pages, and it’s engaging. You’re clicking page to page to page to view different articles, and you don’t have the same set up with a cover and magazine on your computer screen looking just as it looks in your hand.”

So the next time you’re considering where to spend more of your energy – on a website or a digital edition – consider your metrics and check where your readers are spending their time.