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Advantages of digital magazines vs printed magazines

Luca Filigheddu

Advantages of digital magazines vs printed magazines-367060-edited.jpg

If you’re a publisher who’s thinking of moving the business to the digital world, then you may find this article useful to finally make up your mind. In the most recent years, the printed magazine has started to decline in popularity and diffusion because of the many advantages of digital magazines.

If you want to know more about the current state of the publishing industry, we have the perfect content for you.

Let’s have a look at the reasons why you should create a digital copy of your magazine right now.

Lower costs

A paper magazine has to be printed, distributed and finally sold by the newsagents. These three processes, of course, incur a cost. Moreover, unsold copies of the magazine represent a loss for the publisher.

Digital, on the contrary, allows publishers to distribute their magazines on the web, without having to pay the commercial mediation of suppliers and sellers.

Of course, changes in the business model require an investment. At the beginning, you may find that the money you save by cutting on the distribution is all spent on organising the new arrangement – i.e. the cost of the software and the formation of your staff. However, it won’t be long before you realise that the investment was worth it.


Global distribution

An added advantage is that not only do publishers don’t not have to pay distributors anymore, but they can also be sure that the circulation of their magazine will be global.

There are no geographical barriers or state borders online. Every issue of a magazine can be bought by potentially everyone worldwide. This means that the sold copies will probably increase, bringing more income to the company.

But it gets even better: it’s not only a matter of money, but also of marketing and company image. The possibility of distributing the magazine all around the world is the basis for a well-known, strong and successful brand – that can rely on word-of-mouth marketing as well.

What does this imply? Simply that potentially everyone in the world could be talking about your magazine with friends and family, even if they live in a different country. They could suggest that a relative buy the latest issue of your magazine just by sending him/her an email with the link to your website.

Which brings us to the next point…


The web 2.0 has brought about brand new ways to connect to users as well as to companies and their public. Opportunities for the enterprises are huge, and more or less everyone has started to exploit social networks to increase their popularity and to reach their target.

No publisher, nowadays, can think of success without involving social media in his/her strategy. Websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are useful for finding your audience in the first place, as well as for increasing the sharing of your articles.

Basically, it’s all about digital word-of-mouth marketing. If you offer a quality product, you can be sure that your readers will like or share your article, video or photo, thus making your post appear also on their friends’ timelines.



On social networks, readers interact with one another through comments, likes and private messages. But they also get in contact with your company in the same way.

This gives you a great chance to listen to your audience’s feedback. Did they appreciate your latest issue or article? Do they agree with your point of view? Are you able to trigger dialogue among your readers?

Answering all these questions makes you understand if you’re moving in the right direction with your magazine. Of course, the sale of a printed magazine can have the same effect, too, but you wouldn’t be able to deeply understand the reasons for the public’s liking or disliking.

Also, the website where you publish your issue can reveal if you’re having success or not. By looking at the statistics of your website, you can get an idea of how many people visit the page, download the issue, make a subscription or read your articles.


Ads hosting

When you have a digital magazine, you will certainly attract the readers on your website. Consequently, you will be able to host ads related to your industry or to the topics you mostly deal with (native advertising)

By doing so, you can easily increase your earnings. And if you fear the risk of annoying the readers, here’s some good news: the digital world doesn’t have space for boring, standard, unwanted ads. On the contrary, ads are interactive and studied to really engage the public.

By placing the ad in the right place on the web page, it’s probably not even going to look like a paid advertisement, but rather a suggestion from your magazine. Moreover, the advertiser is able to see how many clicks the advertisement has received and pay accordingly.


Interactive content

Not only the advertising – but also the content of your magazine will look dynamic, interactive and engaging. Of course, printed magazines can feature photos and images, but on the web you can also insert videos.

Thanks to this format, news can be delivered in an interesting way which really improves the usability and the user experience. In addition, live streaming gives publishers the ability to communicate with their readers directly, without having to print the content and distribute it through kiosks and other distribution channels.

The video format also allows you to create video tutorials  that help users learn how to do something. Making videos explaining how to bake a cake, for example, is the perfect strategy for a magazine about cooking, because it meets the interests and needs of the audience in a direct and entertaining way.


Convenience for the reader

Buying a digital magazine is way more convenient than buying a printed one. It can be done at home, at the office, on the bus. Pretty much everywhere. And the same goes for the consumption of the product: it can be read everywhere, anytime.

This is made possible by the constant presence of Internet connections that characterise our world. Moreover, thanks to the huge increase in smartphone usage, people can get access at all times, even if they aren’t at home.

Taking advantage of these digital technologies is a must for publishers, who can better satisfy customers and raise their profit at the same time.



Last, but not least, digital magazines play a big role in the fight against paper-waste and deforestation. In a world facing major climate and resource crisis, every effort to reduce wastefulness is important.

Every innovator should understand the importance of moving towards eco-friendly business models, which are probably going to be the most widespread in the near future.



Let’s be realistic: the digital magazine has a lot of undeniable advantages. It brings about more earnings, more readers and environmental sustainability.

Sure, paper magazines have some advantages, too. For example, a lot of people love the feeling and the smell of the paper. However, one cannot oppose progress and technology. It is reasonable to believe that, in a few years’ time, all magazines and newspapers will move to digital. Don’t fall behind!

And don’t forget to keep updated with the world of the publishing industry, which you can learn more about in our downloadable content:

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