New Research Shows How Tablets Change Magazine Consumption

8 insights on expectation and behavior associated with digital magazines

Digital magazines aren’t being treated like traditional magazines.

A recent consumer research study conducted by Bonnier R&D and ad agency CP+B was designed to show “how people consume media on tablet devices like the iPad.”

This study included 15 focus groups from three U.S. cities, and involved consumers of magazines, magazine websites and iPads. These individuals were observed interacting with digital magazines and were interviewed about their experiences with traditional magazines, digital magazines, magazine websites and tablet devices.

In particular, this study found eight insights on the way digital magazines on tablets like the iPad are being consumed:

#1: New Tablet Vernacular – The term “iPadding” may become popular in the near future. This term helps explain the overall interaction experienced on the tablet device. According to Bonnier Corporation, users envision themselves as “doers” instead of “readers”.

#2: A New Decision Hierarchy – Interesting enough, iPad users are picking up their tablet and then deciding what to do on it. In the past, traditional magazine readers typically had specific purposes in mind before picking up a magazine, like finding information on a specific topic, shopping for products or filling time during travel.

#3: A Sense of Ownership – iPad users enjoy owning apps that are an extension of their interests and passions. According to the study, iPad users “were more likely to download an app that they felt added value to, or extended the capabilities of, their tablet devices.”


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#4: Feeling of Privacy – iPads are beginning to be “highly personal, single-user” devices. Users feel connected to their collection of apps and are hesitant to let others use their devices, outside of their closest relationships.

#5: A Use Case for Paper – Even heavy iPad users still buy print magazines. The possibility of damaging their iPad in specific locations like the beach or gym, and impulse buys of print magazines were the main reasons cited.

#6: An Affinity for Advertising – the iPad allows marketers the opportunity to create advertisements that add value and are artistically designed. This resonates well with iPad users.

#7: A Bit of Confusion – Advertisements and editorial need to be distinguishable on tablet devices. At times, some users expressed confusion between the two.

#8: A Catalyst for Action – Users want digital magazines to be inspiration; to help them dig deeper into the topics they enjoy without the use of pop-ups or interruptive marketing tactics. If publishers can find offer this experience on the iPad, they have a better chance of success with tablet users.

This study is really important to both digital magazine publishers and consumers of digital magazines. It’s great to have an idea on the current behaviors associated with the tablet devices, as they will become increasingly popular.

For more on this study, check out the original article from Bonnier Corporation.


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