Can Digital Magazines Overcome Their Paper Predecessors?
Starting with the music industry, and then followed by the film and book industries, the way we consume content has changed forever. It would seem the magazine industry is up next, but will consumers be willing to change this form of content consumption, too?
According to Media Life Magazine, digital magazine readership has made steady gains in 2012, jumping 44 percent from 9 million to 13 million just this year. While those figures may sound impressive, the truth is that digital editions still only make up 1.7 percent of total magazine circulation.
So, why are we still clinging to paper magazines when all of our favorite titles are readily available on tablets and smartphones? I think the glossies still have a lot to offer us in their print form. Here are four reasons paper just might give digital a run for its money, when it comes to the magazine industry.
1. Portability: In their digital form, magazines are lightweight and easy to carry anywhere. In their paper form – well, they’re lightweight and easy to carry anywhere.
While mP3′s suddenly allowed us to carry our entire CD cabinet with us, and an e-reader is much lighter than a 300-page book, digital magazines aren’t much more portable than the originals. It has always been fairly easy to stash a magazine in our backpack, purse, or under our arm.
2. Impulse Buyability: Who among us hasn’t fallen victim to the tempting headlines and photos of magazines lining store shelves everywhere? Whether you’re standing in line at the grocery store, or running in the drugstore for a couple of quick items, it’s often too easy to add a magazine to the shopping list.
Unless distributors start allowing readers to download digital mags to their e-readers in stores, paper beats digital for the impulse magazine buy.
3. Glossy Glossies: I don’t know about you, but I love the beautiful images in my favorite magazines. Pixels have come a long way, but I still prefer to look at the latest fashion, garden ideas, and recipes on the glossy pages of magazines. Enough said.
4. Ads Aren’t So Bad: Yes, I am citing ads as one of the reasons I enjoy looking at magazines, but this reason may be limited to beauty and fashion mags. The two-page spreads of beauty ads are especially nice because they give me ideas on how to do my makeup and hair, or how to wear the latest fashions. Sure, there will always be ads – digital or otherwise – but paper ads (for now) are more visually striking. If digital beauty ads were interactive, showing me how to apply my makeup, then that would be another story!
How about you? Do you subscribe to more paper or digital magazines, and which do you prefer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.