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Points to Ponder: Which one makes for the ‘best’ digital edition – the digital replica or the interactive edition?

In choosing which digital publication model will best suit your business, you must decide which one has long-term appeal to the rapidly changing needs of the digital publishing audience.

With almost 50 percent of US Adults owning either a tablet or a smartphone, every magazine publisher wants to offer their readers the latest technology in an intuitive format accessible on any platform the reader may be using.

A digital replica is exactly as it sounds – a flat version of an existing print title with some interactivity on top, such as hyperlinks, search capability, etc. Sixty percent of readers aged below 40 prefer a print-like reading experience on tablets and 57 percent above 40 also prefer this experience in the form of a basic replica edition, according to the PEW report, The Future of Mobile News.

The digital replica contains the same editorial, photojournalism and advertisements of the print version of the magazine. Some editions may also be reformatted to accommodate the delivery device being used, keeping in mind that each issue’s content and design are identical to the original edition. Some replica editions may not have the same advertising as the print version based on the advertiser’s choice.

As far as getting a digital publication up and running, digital replicas are a quick, effective way to create a digital presence and get your business on devices while discovering what your readers want. Your platform’s analytics solution can be combined with your download figures to discover who’s reading your title and where.

At the same time advanced components like rich media, bonus images and video content offered by a non-replica edition appeals to another set of readers who are more experienced and comfortable with web navigation. With the advancements being made to digital replica models, a lot of the content offered by interactive solutions, such as video, galleries, and live feeds are becoming available in the replica model.

Digital replicas require no learning curve. On every device no matter what size, the combination of original page aspect ratio and familiar page-turning navigation means there’s no instructions needed. Digital replicas are a comparatively low-risk way to launch your titles.

An interactive edition is a version of your magazine with added interactivity, including and developer-driven solutions. The ‘non-replica’ or ‘interactive’ edition has a lot of interactive rich media like hyperlinks, embedded comments, videos and other multi-media features. These interactive editions typically maintain the same content and basic identity of the print magazine, though designed for reading by the online audience. The editorial and advertising content is usually different from the print version.

Since the market for digital editions has developed rapidly over the past few years, many readers may not be familiar with all the technologies that are associated with digital editions. Although many own tablets and smart phones, they are still getting accustomed to flipping through a digital replica like a print version on a tablet or smart phone.

From the publisher’s point of view, a replica is more economical compared to the interactive edition. For advertisers, the interactive digital edition is a platform for a wide range of ads with rich-media content.

We can help you meet your digital publishing needs. Lets discuss it.

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