Monday, December 15, 2014

It's Time to Get a Grip on Digital Magazine Publishing

This headline, from Advertising Age last week, says all that needs to be said about the current state of digital magazine publishing: "Major Ad Buyer Tells Magazines It Won't Buy Tablet Circ Like It's Print Any More". For those who think this is just a hollow negotiating tactic on the part of ad buyers, think again. This tactic's got teeth: it works because digital magazine publishing, as it is currently being done, doesn't.

Should we even be surprised? An industry expert recently told me that "at this point, many publishers view digital versions as a non-strategic platform. The bias is toward easy, fast and cheap." Does that sound like a compelling value proposition for advertisers?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Guys, listen: the experiment has run its course. We gave it a shot, but the results are in: digital replica 'flipbooks' do not work. We're going to have to try a little harder if we want to compete with the other digital media that are threatening to run us out of business. Honestly, who wants to thumb through one of these flipbooks on their smartphone? They are cumbersome, poorly laid-out, and unengaging. It's time the industry gets serious about digital magazine publishing. Announcements like the one above are just the tip of the iceberg. If we continue to regard new, expensive, and powerful digital devices as glorified .pdf viewers, our readers are going to take their eyeballs elsewhere. If we continue to indiscriminately replicate our print content on electronic devices and insist on calling it a 'digital edition', we will soon find ourselves on the wrong side of a large-scale advertising exodus. And, if we continue to disregard the predominance of smartphones in the consumer market, the media industry will leave us behind.

These things are all different sides of the same coin, and we've been talking about them for a while. Perhaps it will take more major announcements like the one above before we start getting taken seriously. But that time will come, and when it does, you'll want to be ahead of the curve.

PixelEdge is your turnkey solution for digital magazine publishing. Our digital apps come with full support, maintenance, guidance, and content-delivery. To you, this means that you don't have to devote any of your own resources and at a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere. Find us on the web at, or email us at today!