Five years after Apple introduced the iPad and the magazine industry latched on for dear life, digital magazine consumption has reached 43% of print magazine consumption and is climbing rapidly.
Today we’re releasing our annual Mequoda’s Digital Magazine Market Study, conducted in Q2 2015, which polled 3,642 US adults with Internet access. Our study found that 1/3 of them report reading one or more digital magazine issues in the last 30 days, while more than 2/3 report reading one or more print magazine issues in that same time period.
The study also found that consumer spending on digital magazines will top $1.3 billion in 2015 and that above all else, users demand readable and scrollable text on their digital editions.
Mequoda’s Digital Magazine Market Study shows that while the digital publishing industry is indeed still evolving, the overall trend is clear: Multiplatform publishing that includes native tablet editions and fully responsive web editions are the future of magazine publishing. Whether a publisher’s revenue comes primarily from selling premium content or from selling advertising and sponsorships, there are substantial and growing revenue streams to be developed.
As the study notes, “One thing you can be certain of: If you don’t offer a compelling multiplatform media experience for your markets, someone else will.”
“It’s now clear that a well done, native digital magazine can find a profitable place in a digital marketplace,” says Don Nicholas, our CEO.
“If you have high quality content and invest in creating readable, scrollable, truly native tablet and responsive web editions of your magazines, your readers will thank you with their time, and with their wallets.”
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Market study highlights
Nearly 37% of survey respondents reported having read an average of 2.37 digital magazine issues in the last 30 days. With the study polling US adults with Internet access, this brings total digital magazine issue circulation to 184 million.
Respondents were also clear on what they want in a digital magazine: readable and scrollable text. This makes a strong argument for publishers to invest in creating native tablet editions and responsive web editions, which can be accessed and viewed natively on any device or screen size.
Two out of 3 said that 20 articles or less per issue is best and immediate delivery topped their list of coveted digital magazine attributes.
I don’t want to give away the whole study, so I recommend downloading it for free right now.
Digital publishing best practices
We’ve attached to the back half of the downloadable report, dozens of digital magazine publishing best practices. There are 11 chapters that include case studies for putting publishers on a path to creating a digital magazine strategy that can enlighten readers and help multiplatform companies grow and profit. In the Mequoda’s Digital Magazine Market Study, readers will find definitions and examples of all the various digital edition types that exist, along with pros and cons for each. We’ve provided both mass and niche media examples for readers of the study and handbook to analyze and compare.
There are tips for creating the most coveted digital magazine editions and step-by-step processes for launching a digital magazine, along with dos and don’ts for designing, pricing, producing and selling digital magazines.
Multiplatform magazine strategic planning
As an added bonus, the study and handbook includes a Multiplatform Magazine Strategic Planning Framework (SPF) that outlines all the factors a publisher must consider when planning a digital magazine.
These factors include everything from the different types of editions planned to software licensing costs for an app edition, to available advertising inventory per year to pricing, and from the number of email subscribers a publisher has to the percentage of renewals a publisher earns from tablet, print, web and combination offers.
Results from this study are being used to update our best practices for our clients, and to train publishers at it our quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive.