Digital Magazine Publishing: The Art of Monetization

As digital grows, membership strategies are a focus

Three interesting notions came upon me recently.

The first involves creative software superstar Adobe. The company announced that between March 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012, they experienced “over 16 million downloads of digital publications powered by the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite”.

Some highlights associated with these findings: 68% of readers worldwide pay for digital magazines or digital newspapers that are created with the help of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. This includes 26% paying for subscriptions and 27% paying for bundles of print and digital.

Most readers are also spending more time with digital content, as 56% are spending between 25 minutes and 2.5 hours with their digital content. This is up 70% from six months ago.

The second notion comes from the Financial Times. In the final quarter of 2011, the Financial Times recorded 17,000 new digital subscribers. According to paidContent, “Two thousand of the FT’s new 2011 subs were corporate licenses. In the U.S., print circulation was overtaken by these digital subscribers for the first time.”

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Furthermore, digital accounts for 47% of revenue.

And finally, Forbes published an article last week discussing long-form journalism’s place in the digital realm. It was backed by examples of long-form pieces that were popular online, receiving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of readers. Many were also highly acclaimed via social media, or experienced an excess of comments on the blog. For instance, an article written about Best Buy received three million page views and over 1,000 comments.

So, what’s the point here?

Digital publications are popular – they are being purchased and read for extended periods of time – digital circulation is growing, and long-form content is still relevant online.

What does this mean for digital publishers? Some form of membership or subscription website is the opportunity to monetize your digital content. Long-form content is popular, even in digital, and providing extra content to subscribing members makes the offer more valuable.

Do you see digital overtaking more print publications? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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