Diego Vasquez, a staff writer for Media Life, asserts that the mistake many magazines have made in the transition to a digital format was trying to replicate their print or web editions. He cites a study from Smarter Media Sales (SMS) that says that digital magazines really need to be their own product with their own ad format. The study, writes Vasquez,
[…] found that the most successful shared several qualities, including encouraging interaction between readers and the publication, formatting pages specifically for the screen on which they’re shown, and creating engaging ads that get readers really involved in the text.
Vasquez interviewed Josh Gordon, SMS president, who conducted the study by contacting dozens of digital magazine publishers. Gordon said that there are three reasons why advertisers come back to particular magazines:
- Ability to display larger ads
- Format of the reading experience
- Interactive components of the ads
“You combine these three things,” said Gordon, “and you have something unique that doesn’t exist in any other online media.” Simply adding a static duplicate of a print ad won’t work for digital formats.
Gordon also points out that digital audiences expect content updates more frequently.
Source: “What makes for a great digital magazine,” Media Life, 03/23/10
Image: Screen capture of N.E.E.T. Magazine, a digital-only fashion publication.