Since the iPad was launched in 2010, the publishing industry as a whole, and the advertising sector in particular, was eagerly watching to discover how exactly this new technology could be used to their benefit and to the benefit of their readers. Many magazines appeared as dedicated apps for the iPad, but these pioneers were usually little more than electronic replicas of print magazines. The user experience was almost as static and two-dimensional as reading paper. Everyone was still discovering the enormous capabilities of the iPad and the tablet format in general.
Enough time has passed so that tablet magazine apps are beginning to show real signs of innovation and creativity. The immersive experience possible for tablet readers is beginning to develop, and the bar for a standard digital experience is being raised. Interactive graphics, embedded videos and curated content are becoming the new normal.
Marketers have taken notice and are promoting more of their brands through tablet magazine apps. According to a recent installment of the Magazine Brand Footprint, an ongoing quarterly analysis conducted by Kantar Media, advertising placements for tablet apps are growing the fastest based on the number of different advertised brands that utilize the platform, up 4.2 percent for the full year 2013. By comparison, the number of different brands appearing on magazine’s web sites expanded by 3.2 percent and the count in print editions fell 2.9 percent during the period.
The tablet computer is a natural fit for the magazine format, and it is being adopted by more and more people every year. Some numbers floating around are more than 40% of the American population by the end of 2014! Without question, the tablet PC is an enormous opportunity for magazine publishers and advertisers. The ever-increasing number of digital magazine apps available on digital newsstands is a huge opportunity for traditional advertisers and the new segment of native content providers.