Magazines are playing a more and more prominent role in the digital space, and content providers and advertisers are taking notice.
At this time, both print and digital editions with the same content have the same level of consumer recall of advertisements. According to the study Magazine Tablet Edition Ads Get Same Recall As Those in Print, AdAge, July 3, 2014, their research indicates that readers feel the same way about the tablet editions of print magazines as far as enjoyment of ads and ad recall. Ads in tablet versions of magazines had an average of 52% recall, the same as ads in the print editions. The most recalled tablet magazine ads were recalled by over 80% of readers, again reaching the same numbers as most recalled print. This is good news for digital publishers.
Also interesting is the various data suggesting that digital magazine advertisements connect with consumers more than video or social media ads.
It has been said that digital is replacing print, but if it ever happens, it is still a long way off. Consumers use both formats for different purposes. Digital platforms are quick easy ways to research and stay up-to-date on their favorite magazines, but print and digital do not replace each other. Quality content remains key for magazine readers in any format. Until digital formats evolve into a really user-friendly environment that gives the same reader experience as paper, there will be a use gap. Print and paper has been part of every human experience for so long that it will take quite some time before people reflexively choose the newer digital formats.
At this time the majority of digital magazine readers use the medium for accessing specific information quickly, while paper readers spend more time casually interacting with the publication. The biggest and fastest-growing use of digital publications is the sharing and social media aspects of the format. Digital content is shared with friends and family at a much greater rate than print content, thereby extending the reach and lengthening the life of digital content.
Digital edition magazine readership mirrors print, but within certain desirable demographics for advertisers, digital is gaining. Digital magazine readers are heavy social media users, and they trend towards being more social media savvy than the general population. They are informed consumers and share their findings with their circles of influence widely. Readers turn to digital magazine brands at multiple times throughout the day, for a variety of purposes, and use a range of platforms, including tablets and smartphones.
Digital magazines are used by consumers to share their viewpoints and buying preferences widely among their friends and family, and they are often the first to establish trends and recognize trends. Interactive ad campaigns which include quizzes and surveys often take on a life of their own, going viral and crossing many demographics in ways impossible with static print media.