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As with any developing trends, the numbers get bounced around until a solid direction is observed. According to a recent forecast from eMarketer, media spending in the US will see its largest increase in a decade, and that growth will be led by TV and mobile.

If these numbers bear out, mobile advertising will exceed that of traditional media such as newspapers, magazines and radio for the first time.

The growth in mobile ad spending is a response to dramatic changes in consumer behavior. Recently reported that tablets and smartphones “accounted for 60 percent of total digital media time spent”. Even more important to digital publishers, apps represent the vast majority of time spent on digital media.

In light of the fact that the magazine industry’s ad spending revenues for print continues to decline and, according to eMarketer is not expected to grow again until sometime in 2016, it is imperative that print magazine publishers translate their content to dynamic online formats and gain readership through digital editions.

Publishers are now trying to get their advertisers to follow them online. According to the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) and Kantar Media, between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013, the number of ad units in print ad pages held relatively steady but the number of ad units available on just the iPad increased nearly 24%. If you include other tablets, smartphones and PCs, the opportunity for magazine advertising is clearly digital. Significantly, the typically lower prices charged for digital magazine ads are incentivizing advertisers to jump in.

With print advertising in a slow but steady decline, magazine publishers large and small are embracing digital advertising, including interactive ads delivered to tablet computers, and according to research by Hearst Magazines UK, their optimism is not misplaced. They found that digital magazines’ strength as an advertising medium has been proven. According to their research, 70% of readers think ads in digital editions are impactful and sharp and 55% feel more favorable towards a brand as a consequence of seeing an ad in a digital edition. It found that magazine readers consume digital editions in a similar way to print editions – 88% of tablet users prefer to read basic stacked articles and linear format. Users are equally as engaged with digital editions as they are with print, and even better, the evidence points to digital ads having the ability to increase the effectiveness of print campaigns, and vice versa.

In addition, digital magazine advertising produces high rates of recall, as evidenced by new data from Starch Advertising Research. After analyzing reader recall of 28,624 magazine ads in 805 tablet magazine issues published in 2013, GfK MRI found that the average digital magazine ad was recalled by 52% of consumers. Furthermore, 62% said interactive features helped them learn more about products and services and agreed with the statement: “I read this publication as much for the ads as for the articles.”

Also very important to advertisers is that the demographics of the digital magazine reader tend to skew to the relatively young, with 52% ages 18-34, as well as upwardly mobile, with 48% reporting household incomes of $75,000 a year or more.

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