Digital Magazine Publishing

When Web Magazines Go Wrong

When most people think of digital magazines, they narrow their focus on digital magazine apps that can be found in a digital newsstand or app store, but data shows that apps aren’t where users want to digest premium magazine content.

Readability is the number one feature that the majority of digital magazine users have requested, and ironically, it’s rarely offered very well by some of today’s biggest magazines. Because of that, digital magazine apps have gotten a bad rap, but we’re not so sure it’s a bad thing.

Because instead, users have gravitated toward a digital magazine platform that is easier to update and maintain, cheaper to distribute, and offers higher profits for the publisher—web magazines.

A web magazine is found through a magazine membership website, where the user logs in to view free or paid content in a linear fashion. There is an archive of past issues, and the user can access all of them and view them in an HTML format, which is easy to view and read on any desktop or mobile device. The design may be very similar to a digital magazine app, however the user does not need to download or access an app store, the web magazine is a part of the publisher’s website and can be accessed there.

The barebones minimum to qualify as a best-practice web magazine means it must follow these three guidelines:

  1. Must offer scrollable HTML articles (not a PDF, although the user may also download the PDF)
  2. Is issue-based (so you know if you’re in the November issue or the December issue)
  3. Has a table of contents, preferably staying with the reader on every page of the issue OR has some other way to make clear what issue they’re in and how to easily visit other articles from the same magazine.

Unfortunately, we see a lot of examples of web magazines where the publisher has lost sight of the magazine experience when they have tried to bring their premium content online.

Thanks to the internet, consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information?

Don’t open your wallet just yet, download our Mequoda Magazine Consumer Studyit’s a free gift from us to you where you’ll learn more about what consumers want from digital magazines and how to meet their needs.

That’s right, our Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study is FREE to download and will show you how to achieve the same success as our most profitable publishing partners. Download it today.

If you want to talk more about everything you’ve read, and how to apply it to your own business, schedule a call with a member of our executive team.

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