New Forecast on Digital Magazines Predicts Growth

The future for digital magazine circulation, and its associated revenue generation, is predicted to be positive for publishers

The tablet and e-reader marketers continue to prosper, which impacts the growth of digital magazines.

Currently, eMarketer predicts that by the end of 2011, 8.7% of the US adult population, or 20.6 million people will be among the installed base of e-reader owners. By the end of 2012, this number is expected to grow to 12% of the adult population, with a total of 28.9 million people owning an e-reader.

The US tablet base is even more impressive. By the end of 2011, it’s predicted that 24 million people will own an iPad or similar tablet device. By 2012, this number is expected to grow to 40.6 million.

This growth offers potential for content marketers and online publishers. A recent article from Forbes discusses which publishers have the best opportunity to succeed in the digital landscape.

Digital subscriptions

As the popularity of mobile media-rich devices grow, publishers have turned to digital editions and subscription websites for success.

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A recent article from Forbes discussed an annual global entertainment and media report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. This report finds that magazines and newspapers will both see large gains in digital circulation over the next five years.

However, it is predicted that digital magazines will generate more revenue faster than newspapers.

The estimates made by PwC are inspiring for magazine publishers. During 2010, it was predicted that consumer magazines in North America combined for about $4 million in digital circulation revenues. This number is expected to grow to $611 million by 2015.

During this time, print circulation revenue for magazines is expected to slide by $445 million. This means there’s an expected net increase of $162 million in revenue.

The future of digital magazines

Subscription websites have been discussed as one strategy for housing digital content online. A subscription websites allows publishers the opportunity to put premium content behind a firewall so audience members have to pay to access.

According to James McQuivey of Forrester Research, building subscription websites also gives publishers a way to offer a direct-to-consumer alternative to buying through Apple. Doing this also keeps pressure on Apple while stopping them from gaining too much power over content.

What are your thoughts on these statistics for digital magazine subscriptions? Will they generate $611 million in circulation revenue by 2015? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.


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