Magazine Magazine Launches. I’m Not Impressed Impressed.
Written by Nxtbook Media
The optimist in me was very excited to know about a magazine launching in the UK covering the magazine industry. As a company with an office in the UK, we were hopeful that the aptly named Magazine Magazine would provide publishers with keen insight into publishing success.
Alas, if their first article about digital editions is any indication, I’m concerned about the future of Magazine Magazine. Here’s the link to the publication. Sadly, Magazine Magazine used such old-fashioned software for their publication that I can’t link to the specific article. You’ll have to turn to page 42 on your own.
The article in question is Monetising Digital Editions, a subject near and dear to our hearts. Unfortunately, the advice given to publishers ranges from can’t-hurt-might-help to downright dangerous.
The first idea listed is to Add Your Publication Into an Online Store. The authors says – correctly – that it’s hassle-free and generally profitable for the publisher. That being said, we’ve always said that the best person to sell your magazine is you. Prominently. On your website. Strangely, the author even writes, "As an example, the Daily Telgraph typically sells 800,000 copies a day but achieves nearly 27 million unique visitors worldwide per month to its website."
Ask yourself a question: If these numbers are true, would you expect the Daily Telegraph to sell more digital editions from their own website, where all the readers have already shown that their fans of the content, or on another website, with lower traffic, where potential readers have multiple options. The math just doesn’t add up.
Keep in mind, there’s nothing wrong with a digital newsstand, and at Nxtbook we’re pleased to refer our clients to eMagazines.com for that service. But in the long list of ways to make money, it’s kind of low on the priority list.
Another idea proposed in the article is to stream ad-serving into the digital publication. While technically feasible – we’ve been doing it for years – this is another idea that is often strategically misguided. Here’s why:
1.) Ad-Serving is a medium where the currency exchange is CPMs, yet the digital edition is a medium that always provides lower page-views and higher click-through rates. By selling on CPMs, you’re drastically lowering the value of your offering.
2.) Using Ad-Serving for its implicit benefits – rotation, reporting, etc. – is fine, but if you just use it to serve up standard IAB banners, you’re missing out on the advantage of digital magazine real estate. In fact, as a sponsor of the soon-to-be released study by Josh Gordon on Interactive Magazines, I can tell you that readers are 4-5 times more likely to ignore a banner ad than a digital magazine ad. That being the case, why would you strive to put such creative in your digital magazine?
So while we’re happy to see a new magazine (any new magazine) covering the digital magazine category, we’re hopeful that the writers of the publication can serve as better educators to the UK publishing crowd in future issues.