The digital magazine business model is successful, according to Adobe

The vast majority of Adobe’s apps are paid for, showing there’s real success within the digital magazine business model. According to Rupert Knowles, business development manager of Adobe, speaking at today’s Worldwide Media Marketplace, people are paying to buy magazines for tablets. Digital magazines are also proving to be attractive to advertisers and readership is growing.
Knowles was presenting the results and findings from Adobe’s app builder, Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), over the last 24 months. Adobe is now seeing 1.8m of their DPS apps downloaded per week.
Tracking the downloads they could see a significant growth trend, as well as identify blips, for instance at Christmas as downloads increase after people opened up their tablet Christmas presents and then downloaded apps for them.
Knowles said: “The encouraging thing is that readers have a positive perception of digital magazines.” Compared with the internet, where the public was used to doing everything for free, but on tablets they tended to be more prepared to pay for content. The tablet is a similar reading experience to reading a magazine. It’s a sit back experience and people seem more prepared to pay.”
And the good news is that Amazon and iTunes makes it so easy for customers to purchase so they’re more likely to do so.
Knowles showed that magazine app readership is growing  30 per cent on average over the last 12 months. With some publications seeing much higher growth in downloads.
Digital magazines were also proving to be a multi-device opportunity, with smartphone downloads making up 23 per cent of Adobe’s downloads.
Digital magazine are attractive to advertisers, according to Knowles. Advertisers now understand digital magazines and by creating interactive ads they increase engagement and help push readers to their own website proving the power of digital magazines.  
Knowles used Top Gear magazines’ DPS app as an example of how powerful a fully interactive app can be. Top Gear converted from a standard page-turner app to a DPS interactive app including videos, interactive ads etc. As a result total downloads went up 48 per cent with paid downloads up 62 per cent. Single issue revenue went up 79 per cent. And ad revenue went up 200 per cent and subscription revenue went up 165 per cent.
In conclusion, Knowles said that Adobe firmly believed that digital magazines can be successful. All signs the signs are that it’s a growing market, with print as well as digital or as just pure digital.
The Adobe DPS features include push notification for custom segmented messaging; automatic delivery of content to subscribers via the Apple Newsstand; first issue free which offers new readers content right away; the ability to automatically create a preview page of a magazine available for public before actually purchasing; and the ability to render tablet version to a PC.
The DPS also enables apps to be centralised into a hub for an integrated media strategy allowing cross-promotion with an app to other apps or products.

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