In various studies about digital magazine apps and digital magazines in general done over the past few years, it is predicted that by 2016, there will be in excess of 310 billion downloads with an estimated value of $74B in revenue from app stores. With enormous numbers like these it is more important than ever for businesses to establish mobile apps as a fundamental part of their digital strategy.
The predicted revenue includes both new app purchases as well as recurring revenues from digital magazine subscription pricing models. At the same time, spending on digital advertising is already dramatically increasing and is expected to reach almost $4 billion within the next four years.
Magazines continue to be one of the most successful segments of the publishing industry to take advantage of the digital opportunity. Digital magazines have been leveraged across various platforms, including pay walls, dedicated apps, and inclusion into app marketplaces from the very beginning of the digital transition. Advertisers are spending more and more money on digital magazines and digital apps, and by 2017 various analysts expect almost $3.8B will be spent. This is a call to action for magazine publishers and digital magazine app developers.
The tipping point is near, and very soon consumers will prefer reading digital magazines over print magazines. In 2013 it is estimated that 55% of internet users owned or had access to a tablet and that if growth continues at par, market penetration could very well be at 85% by 2020.
There are numerous studies published focusing on digital magazines, digital magazine apps and digital publishing in general, and for myriad categories having to do with the peripheral digital publishing industry. Digital publications, through new technology used in creating feature-filled apps, now have offer value-added items that are unavailable in a static medium like print. The digital magazine experience is an inherently interactive one, and as the industry matures and people become more used to using digital apps, the feel of paper will become less and less important for a positive reading experience.
Digital magazines are better than print in so many ways, but these seven ways are obvious and universal across digital magazines in general:
They are timely, meaning that as soon as an issue is released it can be accessed instantly through apps. No need to wait for snail mail! Digital magazines are portable. The ability to carry a vast number of digital magazines on a smart phone or tablet sure beats carrying heavy paper editions. Digital magazines are collectible. Magazine apps and digital magazine publishers are increasingly allowing subscribers to clip and save certain articles of their magazines. Digital magazine apps are offering searchable databases to make engagement easier than ever, and they are shareable. Apps are being developed to cater to the trend in social sharing. In a social media driven world, customers want to share everything with everyone, a feature that is difficult in print media. Digital magazines are dynamic. Digital magazine apps offer everything from video tutorials, interviews, and even video advertisements. Taking interactivity one step further, digital magazine apps offer subscribers sound clips, interviews and advertorial, something not ever possible in print.