The future of magazines: How the iPad, eReaders & Tablets are effecting the future in advertising



We have kept somewhat quiet about our work in the emerging space of media tablets & digital magazines, until now. As the first numbers come in & the pre-orders of the iPad hit approximately 90,000 in it’s first day, we feel confident that our work in this new category which started months ago has been a worthwhile investment.

There has been a bit of speculation on the launch of this new device from Apple, as there often is on anything “new”. Is it all hype? Will the consumer market adopt this new gadget? Is it a gadget or will it change the digital space and future of publishing? All valid questions and things we asked ourselves before diving into the world of digital publishing. We also want to make it clear that our research and development in this space is NOT dedicated to the iPad, and rather all media tablets that will be coming to market in the near future.

So rather than let our “emotions” and “opinions” get the best of us, we turned to the hard facts. And while much of this is information you have seen before, we want to share the research we conducted before investing our time and resources into the development of this new category.

The tablet environment & digital magazines are a completely new category in the digital space. While standard static ads can be an area of ad sales, we are already working with brands who have expressed interest in developing campaigns in this new and more innovative digital space. Advertisers are excited about being about to interact with their audience on a completely new level. The publishers are working to make these opportunities available to them by developing these interactive magazines, we are focusing on the development of the ads that will essentially be a core revenue stream for them.

Brands are looking for the next innovative and interactive way to communicate with their target audience. The technology available in these tablet sized touch screen, multi-touch, accelerometer driven devices completely expands the interactive potential of the digital campaigns we will start seeing in mid to late 2010.

This is no longer a glimpse into the future of digital media. This is the space we are currently developing in. We are designing with a new set of considerations. We are strategizing on campaigns with and entirely new layer of interactive potential.

This new category is essentially exactly that… “NEW” it is not a replacement for the online digital campaigns. Therefore the design considerations & capabilities are new. This category will combine things we have not been able to effectively combine in the online space. It will also be expected to offer those already existing integrations the users have now made the online/digital space a part of their everyday lives. The advertising in this category simple can’t fall short of the existing expectations.

While we have a tremendous amount of research and data to share, here is just one piece of information that we think you might find interesting.

Studies have been done with readers of digital editions of magazines in an attempt to attain some of the first measurements of readers and the new genre of interactive magazine ads. The survey compared how readers responded to ads within digital editions as compared to other forms of media. Though the full results haven’t been released yet, they have found some preliminary results from the first half of the 5,000 readers who participated. Here are just a few findings.

The available enhancements to advertisements within digital editions; like video, audio, slideshows and animation are shown to have a positive impact on the reader’s overall experience.

  • 26% of readers said that they are more likely to play with an advertisement with these digital extras to see if they “may become interested in an ad.”
  • 32% of readers will skip an interactive magazine story that they are not interested in.
  • 34% will read a bit of the article and play the ad’s extras
  • 21.8% will play only the digital extras.

In terms of user engagement, interactive edition ads topped the charts at 66% as the most helpful or interesting form of electronic advertising, beating out TV ads at 57%