Future’s Apple Newsstand strategy shaped by audience research

Future’s Simon Wainwright today (23 May) presented to attendees at FIPP’s Research Forum in Barcelona, the results of a study into how the company’s audiences react with Apple’s Newsstand.

Wainwright said that Future has been on a journey for the last few years to become a “digital first” publisher, and the Apple Newsstand has been “pivotal and instrumental” in that journey. The research was conducted, said Wainwright, to “equip Future with insight and understanding of our audiences on this platform”.

The survey of 15,000 newsstand subscribers gained 1,000 respondents. Of those respondents, 38 per cent declared their iPad to be their most prized possession, which is of course, a good start.

Other results of the research show that Future’s newsstand audiences are coming from all over the world, most notably the USA (42 per cent) compared to 17 per cent in the UK.

Surprisingly, 43 per cent of the respondents had regularly bought a print edition, showing that the medium still plays an important role for these consumers.

Wainwright said that search on the Apple Newsstand is a difficult, and it can be a struggle for consumers to find exactly what they want. This is something that Future has learned from this research, and will take into consideration when marketing their titles on the Newsstand from now on.

When it comes to reading times, Wainwright said that digital is more ‘snackable’, with consumers spending one hour and 42 minutes reading a digital edition from the Newsstand compared to two hours and 24 minutes in print.

As far as advertising engagement is concerned, Future’s research found that 62 per cent of respondents claimed to take further action after seeing ads in digital editions, and one in five have shared content in the magazines they’ve read.

So how will Future change its strategy to reflect on the results of the survey? “The study has helped to unlock international expansion”, said Wainwright. “We now know exactly where people are coming from, which helps with our licensing business and partnering”, he said.

The publishing frequency on the Newsstand is also being considered, after finding that there is an opportunity for more content on a more regular basis. This has led to the recent launch of Football Week, which is doing “pretty well” on the Newsstand, according to Wainwright.

Although the study was conducted last year, Wainwright said that Future has constant analytics in place to understand how to improve in this ever-changing environment. “There is more to come, and it’s very exiting”, said Wainwright. “We’re also bringing in new ‘young blood’ to help us on our digital journey”, he concluded.

The FIPP Research Forum is a two-day event for publishers, researchers and marketing executives in the magazine business. It has attracted some of the world’s leading magazine research professionals, who meet to discuss the latest issues and developments in the industry worldwide.

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