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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Digital Magazines "engage readers" says survey

Publishers who repurpose their magazines for the web can increase user engagement with and affinity toward ads, according to stats from a new survey by The Harrison Group and Zinio.

The survey of 1500 Zinio subscribers in the US, has revealed some interesting findings.

Some 37% of people who have purchased at least one digital magazine said that they were more likely to read an ad in digital format than in print.

According to Rich Maggiotto, CEO of Zinio, the aesthetics are part of the reason that readers find the digitized ads more appealing.

"When you look at a full-page spread online, you don't have a gutter anymore," Maggiotto said. "There's a depth to the imagery because of the way the ad fits on the screen. And you get what was the original intent of the creative director without the disruption of a gutter."

But the interactivity also draws them in, as some 59% said they found digital magazine ads easier to engage with, and 84% said the digital ads were more beneficial because of the ability to click-through. "Pretty much 85-95% of the ads in the print edition have a URL, but readers have to remember it or write it down, then go online and type it in," he said. "With the digital version, they're one click away."

As for raising reader awareness about the digital magazines, the survey found that e-mails (from either Zinio or the publishers themselves) were most effective. Banner ads came in second, while search traffic came in third. About half of the respondents were ages 25-44 and skewed heavily male (80%). Some 63% were married, and about 40% earned at least $75,000 annually. In terms of technology, nearly 60% said that they were "first to try" new products.

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