Classifying Your Brand to the Digital Audience

Digital magazine publishing success requires a broad footprint that audience members are aware of

The number of digital magazine sales continues to increase. Recently, Cosmopolitan became the first Hearst Magazine brand to reach 100,000 paid individual subscriptions. Cumulatively, Hearst has sold over a half million digital subscriptions, and expects to hit one million by 2012’s end.

Conde Nast reported reaching half a million digital subscribers during the fall of 2011. At that time, 225,000 of those digital subscribers were receiving the magazine content in digital format only.

It’s clear that digital magazine publishing is finding its path, and some of the perceived problems (large file sizes, platform accessibility, and profit sharing with retail partners) may not be as troublesome as once thought.

Even with the proof of sales, digital publishers are looking for better ways to share the news of their digital content, especially since the market is changing so often.

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The Nation is one magazine that is focusing on their brand by sharing the news of their broad footprint. To adequately inform their reader base, The Nation has implemented an advertising campaign called ‘50 Ways to Read The Nation’.

The ad is placed on the website and links to a web page that discusses the “online, digital, mobile and e-reader support” the magazine has. Each associated link drives to information on accessing the magazine’s content. For owners of e-readers such as Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, or Amazon Kindle, paragraphs explain how to purchase subscriptions easily.

With the confusion that can be caused by all the options for each of the platforms, both physical and digital, creating a web page that clearly defines each option is a step in the right direction for digital magazine publishers.

I was surprised however, that this campaign doesn’t include a link on the subscription page. Including a link, or incorporating the content at the bottom of the page, would help all types of subscribers make the best decision on how to receive the content.

We expect to see more brands display their digital reach, especially as more devices reach the market and no commonality is shared.


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