Publishers need to get their apps in gear
Apple is rumored to be announcing the fifth generation of its iPad on 18 June, reports emedia vitals. Mobile devices account for an increasingly larger share of most publishers’ web traffic – including a whopping 65 per cent for BuzzFeed. Publishers are delivering 1.7 million digital editions a week built with Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite – a sixfold increase over the past two years.
It may be time to take this whole mobile thing a bit more seriously.
The elements required to justify greater investment in mobile development are falling into place. More people are reading digital magazines; Adobe says per-publication readership across its DPS-based publications has increased by an average of 80 per cent over the past six months. More devices are coming to market, with models such as the iPad mini and Kindle HD extending into the mass market.
“People are more comfortable reading magazine content on tablets,” Lynly Schambers-Lenox, Adobe’s group product marketing manager for digital publishing, said in a recent interview. “That’s not surprising, and we expect it to continue.”
Publishers adopting a wait-and-see position before moving beyond PDF replicas or m-dot sites now have plenty to see, and less reason to wait. Engagement metrics are rising – a combination of publishers adding more interactivity to their digital editions and users who are actively seeking it out. Top Gear, a UK-based publication for auto enthusiasts, has seen average reading times increase from around 10 minutes per issue to 40 minutes per issue in the three months since it switched from a replica to an enhanced edition built with DPS. Downloads have increased 48 per cent, subscription revenue has grown 165 per cent and ad revenue has risen by 200 per cent.
Advertisers are benefiting from interactive enhancements to ads in apps as well as the mobile web. Adobe most recent ad engagement study found that product recall doubled for interactive ads vs. static ads in digital editions. A study by VivaKi, a digital ad solutions vendor, found that expandable banners on tablets had clickthrough rates four times greater than the static web banners.