Which magazine platform is most used by subscribers, and brings content to them on a platform they use all day? Think: the web!
When you think of a magazine platform, you probably think print and digital. They seem like black and white, but there’s actually a whole lot of grey on the digital side of things. A digital magazine, as defined by the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly ABC) defines a digital edition as distribution of a magazine’s content via electronic means. The digital edition must maintain the same identity of the host publication by maintaining the same brand characteristics. Mequoda agrees with this definition.
However, we define magazine apps, which are downloaded onto your mobile device, as a very different magazine platform than a web magazine, which is built in HTML and will responsively conform to any screen. They’re both deemed digital, however one can’t be constrained by the limits of app stores, and doesn’t give up a portion of revenue to those app stores. Our preferred magazine platform is, as you’ve probably figured, the web edition.
At Mequoda, the most common type of system we build using our custom Haven CXMS is for a legacy magazine brand, typically starting with just print publications, who are looking to generate paid subscriptions and revenue with a robust subscription website.
When a publisher comes to us with this kind of goal, a tablet app doesn’t come to the top of mind as a major revenue generator. However, for some publishers they do bring in a passive revenue stream which can become substantial over time, so we do recommend it. Not to mention, app stores have a built in audience, so you gain free marketing just by existing in the app store. However, we don’t see tablet apps as a growth magazine platform in the way that we see web magazines.
When we build a system for the aforementioned type of publisher, it’s designed to take consumer magazine publisher boldly forward with a multiplatform 21st-century strategy. In addition to a tablet app as needed, we always include a free Portal where the publisher publishes free content to attract and convert new website visitors. And attached to the Portal is a magazine subscription website, which features our unique and revolutionary HTML web-magazine edition. They might also have other income streams through a Directory, Calendar, or Classifieds sections of their websites.
By building out a web magazine, the publisher now has a website portal that can be leveraged for both premium-subscription development and third-party sponsorships using native, scarcity, exclusivity, and alignment sponsorship programs.
A prime example of this Haven CXMS in use is New England Network, built for Yankee Publishing to promote their venerable and popular regional magazine named Yankee. Yankee’s website is built to attract, convert, engage, and monetize visitors that results in growing the list of paid magazine subscribers.
Their web magazine looks familiar in two different ways: It reads and scrolls like a website, but it’s contained in an issue with a consistent magazine navigation, just like a print magazine. The user knows there’s a beginning, middle, and end to the magazine and it can be completed. So unlike the internet where someone will never try to “finish” your website, you may have many more people “finishing” your web magazine much like a print magazine.
Below is an example of the main page of a recent issue of Yankee magazine. Like a magazine table of contents, you’ll find the featured articles, and then the rest of the articles listed below it.
When you enter the web magazine, you will find the table of contents stays to the right-hand side at all times, and the user can always navigate back to the index.
There are many benefits to launching a web magazine to sell alongside, or with, your print magazine.
- A web magazine is responsive on any device, which means you don’t need to redesign it for different tablet sizes and app stores.
- A web magazine is popular way to upsell print magazine subscribers into larger “all access” packages at a higher price point using decoy pricing.
- When there’s a mistake in a print magazine or a magazine app, you can’t edit quickly, but in a web magazine you can immediately make any necessary edits.
- You can sell magazine sponsorships on all of your platforms, and with the web edition, you can place native advertisements and stories in front of the paywall, offering advertisers additional exposure for their content through SEO and social visibility.
- You can upload all of your old content archives in an organized way into a web magazine, and the more you upload, the more value you offer subscribers, and the more you can charge.
Does this all sound like a road you might want to go down? Are you considering talking to us about building a new magazine platform or a Mequoda System? Our Haven CXMS platform is fully compatible with many state-of-the-art subscription fulfillment systems such as Strategic Fulfillment Group, CDS Global, and Palm Coast Data. Our cutting-edge, multiplatform contrast-pricing program, coupled with our Six Sigma direct-marketing program, allows you to dramatically increase your subscription unit sales and average price per subscriber, boosting overall revenue and profits. Schedule a call to talk with me today about your business.