We all know that digital publishing is the future of magazine publishing. It is actually the present of digital publishing. At this time print and digital are existing side by side, and this model will probably not change for a long time yet. In fact, there are benefits to both media to have more than one way to get the word out there. The global acceptance of mobile devices has spread very quickly, and there is no turning back. Technology is evolving very quickly and what is new today will be obsolete or completely changed in the near future.
Almost simultaneously with the arrival of the first tablet, the iPad, magazine publishers started to convert their publications to this new medium. The first digital magazines were just static replicas of their print editions, but now that there are many native apps and newsstands to choose from, the opportunities are endless. Most digital magazines have interactive elements including live links to surveys and quizzes, links to advertisers’ websites and the ability for the reader to contact a writer or editor immediately from within the publication.
The design principles for a digital edition are a bit different from print, and the biggest factor is that publishers and advertisers have to work within the parameters of the device being used to read the magazine. Tablets are more suited to the traditional magazine page format, but the preponderance of smartphones is making it necessary for publishers to cater to the users of small screens. Ads have to become more concise and less wordy, and photos and illustrations have to be used judiciously within articles.
Reader engagement is the name of the game. Going forward, digital publishing will demand a change in the traditional publishing structure. Content providers who specialize in specific market segments and producers that are immersed in a specific market are required in the new digital publishing environment. In order to provide dynamic, current content, publishers must have a constant flow of visual and editorial work that caters to different groups of people and different delivery methods.
Creating external partnerships and using external services will also benefit publishers in the future as technologies become more sophisticated. It is not possible for any organization to have expertise in every area of the huge publishing industry, and many publishers have already started integrating with third parties so that they can focus on their core competency of content. As the choice of devices increases and becomes more sophisticated, it will become ever more important to stay on top of emerging technology in order to provide readers and consumers with the most up to date digital experience possible.
To stay relevant and maintain audience share, both traditional and digital publishers will need to maximize their knowledge of their audience so that they are better able to cater to them and keep up with the latest and greatest.