It’s been documented for a while now that the publishing industry hasn’t fared well in the past decade. Readership and subscriber numbers are on the decline, and fewer people are reading print publications. But rather than see a bleak future for the publishing industry, we should look at the opportunities. It only takes three key changes to overcome the publishing crisis. Several publishers have thrived despite the shakeup. The road to each of their success may be different, but there’s one thing that all of them have done, and that’s taking a few steps to embrace digital.
In truth, the crisis can only affect you to its fullest extent if you allow it. By adapting to the changes in the market and taking advantage of the new opportunities brought by a digital change, you won’t just survive, but thrive even more than you ever did.
The shift from print to digital isn’t easy, but many publishers consider it because of the many advantages and opportunities that it brings. Going digital really breaks down the boundaries that limited you in a traditional publishing set-up. Geographically, it’s clear that online distribution allows your publication to reach audiences that would otherwise have been limited by your distribution network.
A limitless target for your publishing company then allows you to explore other markets. Perhaps you can offer your publication in other languages to capture other markets. You can also establish new publications or create a new section of your publication to focus on other topics to target people with other interests. Switching to digital can also help you cut costs and increase your magazine’s revenue. There are new revenue streams that only having a digital magazine can bring.
Staying a print-only publication has many limitations and as time goes by, your magazine will be less and less in tune with your readers’ habits and the industry. We’re not saying the industry is changing. We’re saying that it has already changed. And that is why publishing your magazine online is important.
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Generating revenue in print magazines was pretty straightforward. There were ads and subscription packages. Between these two primary revenue sources, there was little room for creativity.
Magazines that have decided to go digital, on the other hand, can count on many different possible revenue streams, probably more than they can run at the same time! Publications that have both digital and print versions of their publication can leverage on up-selling to both subscribers and advertisers. Digital ad revenues can come from diverse sources such as affiliate links, website banners or digital magazine ads.
Subscribers can choose a cheaper digital-only (or even web-only) or print-only subscription or a package of two or all of them – a great way to up-sell! There are plenty of ways you can expand your subscription program through digital magazines. Eventually, you can enrich your offer further by adding more of both free and paid digital issues. Some magazines even incorporate e-commerce into their digital magazine allowing readers to buy items directly in their magazine.
When adapting the strategy to advertisers, you can offer them advertising packages across one or multiple publishing channels since with digital, you now have multiple publishing streams with different audiences.
Going digital doesn’t just limit to publishing your digital magazine on a magazine app or your website. Eventually, as with many companies that do take advantage of the Internet, you’ll probably dabble in social media and improve your website. Eventually, if your brand starts to become an influencer over social media, you can monetize that channel as well, just as many independent vloggers, Instagrammers and other social media influencers do.
As you gain more of a following online, you are basically growing your business. Eventually, you can expand to branded products and services such as physical merchandise or even paid courses and events.
The key to making money is to stay invested
Publishing on your own magazine app is one of the primary ways digital magazines are distributed online. Having your app on your reader’s phone is the print magazine equivalent of having the magazine in their back pocket. And this is one of the main reasons why apps are used to help increase magazine circulation.
But that isn’t the only reason. From consistency of magazine display quality to being a low cost-delivery system, to being able to collect analytics insights, there are plenty of benefits of having a magazine app. Also, by having a magazine app, you basically have another channel to promote your magazine – the app stores where many people browse at any time looking for a new app to add to their phones.
However, distributing your magazine using your own app could result in some costly mistakes if not planned and executed correctly. Mindlessly selling your app on the app store can result in commissions of up to 30% levied on in-app purchases (even subscriptions). Make sure you research the different ways you can distribute your magazine in app stores without paying hefty commissions.
It’s not just about app store commissions as well. There are some technical issues and considerations that you have to clarify before putting your magazine in Google Play or the Apple App Store. To make it easier, many of these aspects can be tackled by choosing the right software to create your digital magazine app. Just a few of the essential features to look for in a digital magazine app include support for different kinds of formats, embedding multimedia such as videos, gifs, animations etc. and support for different viewing layouts.
Magazine apps can bring you lots of advantages, but only if you plan and execute everything properly.
Head of Sales at PaperLit, part of Datrix | AI applications, a tech company specialized in the digital transformation, distribution and monetization of content via mobile and smart speakers, for publishers and brands, with hundreds of customers worldwide.
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