Digital Magazine Publishing Firsts

3 stories about digital publishing that are bound to get publishers’ attention

Every week we write about the digital publishing industry for a few main reasons.

First, it is our mission to help print publishers transition into the digital age. As an unfamiliar ground to many, we share strategies for utilizing their legacy content to build new audiences and develop their place as a reputable authority on the subjects they cover.

Furthermore, the many advances in digital publishing spur our continual coverage. This knowledge helps publishers recognize opportunities as they become available, and act on the ones most relevant to their brand.

Three advances in digital publishing

The beginning of this month marks a significant step for digital magazine publishing. Rodale Inc’s Men’s Health magazine announced the launch of a new iPhone application, which will be available in August. The app was developed on Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, and is the first of its kind to launch in the US on the iPhone.

Although Men’s Health apps aren’t new to the iPhone completely, their August release allows for digital publication delivery access across iPhones and iPod Touch devices. For those with iPads who already subscribe to Men’s Health, they will be able to receive access to the new app on their iPhones for free.

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It’s clear that digital magazine publishing isn’t just for tablets, and with the help of Adobe, publishers can bring their content to an array of mobile devices.

MIT’s Technology Review is another print publication making a significant stride to become a “digital-first media company.” Although they plan to continue providing a print product for those audience members who still enjoy the physical medium, all of their content will be published for free viewing on the web. Print, to them, “will be just another platform (to use the jargon of software development), and by no means the most important.”

This step taken by a print publisher shows the confidence they have in creating and distributing digital products. Why the emphasis on digital first? The publication believes digital is the way to better serve their audiences. “For us, digital first is a mode of being that promotes innovation and excellence.”

For media companies engaging in a more digital role, there is positive news. GfK MRI reports that the reach of top digital magazine titles is up 24%. This considers consumption throughout tablets and smartphones, and comes at a time when print readership among these same titles is declining.

In an article from minonline, Dan Langani, the Associate EVP of Reader’s Digest, believes that “paid digital subs for the RD brand in the US will likely be larger than newsstand on an average monthly basis by years end.”

Digital magazine publishing success likely starts with the bigger brands and well-known titles. This success will trickle down to the special-interest publishers during the next four or five years. More tablet sales, and an expanded knowledge on digital products and subscriptions, will help consumers find the content they are interested in.

    Don N.

    Looks like Rodale is raising the bar for universal digital access…


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