Publishers are more evenly distributing resources among print, web, and mobile in order to attract more young readers, and one magazine in particular is providing a shining example.
Publishing Executive hails National Geographic Kids for its smart, interactive content, including the magazine’s PDF editions for Android devices and the Nook. Editor and Vice President Rachel Buchholz told Publishing Executive that while parents still seem to prefer print for their children’s learning, the publisher is pumping content into its fledgling iPad platform – with encouraging results. NatGeo Kids has a 1.1 million-strong reader base, as well as more than a million Facebook followers, where staff tries to reach parents and guardians more than they do children.
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“We want to make this a 360-degree experience, so we have all the products besides the magazine. We have books, videos, the website; we have the app,” she says. “We have, for instance, our funny fill-ins-stories that have blanks for nouns and verbs, and you fill in your own and have a funny story at the end. This is a feature in every issue of our print magazine, and we also offer it in our iPad version – and you can play it as many times as you want there, just by clearing the screen. So in the magazine, we’ll be sure to point readers to the iPad version of the magazine, and to get them to enjoy the other assets that we have.”
In general, Publishing Executive points out, magazines like NatGeo Kids, as well as Ranger Rick and brands from Laufer Media, make headway by treating young people as readers rather than consumers.