Readers like magazine web sites or even magazine apps on tablets and smartphones. I’ve never understood the attraction of what PaidContent describes as ‘replica editions’ that is the same editorial as the print magazine wrapped in a digital format.
Digital replicas have clumsy user interfaces – sometimes its a proprietary piece of nonsense requiring a download. Others are effectively PDFs on something similar. Many have relatively low resolution and just don’t look good on-screen, Hell, some even mangle the text making it hard to read.
Either way, it seems there is a market for them.
Originally posted on paidContent:
Nearly 65 percent of U.S. magazines now have a digital replica edition, but those editions make up just under three percent of overall circulation: That’s the latest news from the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations), which on Thursday released its report on U.S. magazine circulation in the second half of 2012. For some individual titles, digital growth was a lot more impressive — though in some cases that’s because they’re giving away the digital edition free.
289 U.S. magazines reported that they’d sold 7.9 million digital replica editions in the last six months of 2012. That’s 2.4 percent of total circulation — up from less than 1 percent in the second half of 2011, and up from 1.7 percent in the first six months of this year. (AAM’s definition of a digital replica is that it contains “the same editorial and photojournalism as the national print edition,” though that material can be arranged differently on a tablet; nearly all digital magazines fall into this category.)
The growth looks more impressive on an individual title level, where some magazines made huge gains in digital copies: Game Informer, already by far the top magazine by digital circulation, increased that figure by 89 percent, while Cosmopolitan upped its digital circulation by nearly 40 percent in the second half of the year. Two Reader’s Digest titles – Reader’s Digest and Taste of Home — saw triple-digit-percentage growth of their digital editions, both entering the top 10 for the first time. The growth isn’t all paid: Reader’s Digest, for example, is offering print subscribers a free six-month iPad (s AAPL) subscription. But Hearst sells digital and print subscriptions separately.