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Multimedia content benefits: the HPub format

Luca Filigheddu


When it comes to versatility, the magazine industry is now experiencing a renaissance. Through digital publishing, there are now more creative ways for magazines to deliver their message and interact with their readers.

For anyone who worked in print newspapers and magazines before, many will be able to recall countless meetings that were filled with questions like “How can we make our paper more appealing to our readers?”, “What can we do to make our content more interactive?”, “Our competitor just ran a photo contest. How can we do better?”. I’m sure you’ve had some of these too.

In those meetings, it was always about going more than just reading texts and making them look at images. Sure, those have to be very interesting and should have value to your readers. The problem today is that attention spans are shorter. In fact, marketing research from HubSpot says people’s average attention span can be held for 8.25 seconds – already shorter than a goldfish. People skim through text content. 700-word articles are read in 30 seconds.

Readers are bombarded with content everywhere. The only way to ensure that we have their attention is to make your content as engaging as possible.

So what does that mean for you in the magazine publishing industry? It means you have to start getting with the times. It’s no longer enough to just ask a contributor to write an 800-word article. Fortunately, digital publishing technology has evolved alongside these new developments.

HPub format saves the day

Since HPub is based on HTML5 files, whatever content that can be produced on websites can also be produced for your digital magazine. Imagine! There are so many possibilities to engage your reader.

To give you an idea here are some ways you can brighten up your digital magazine by using HPub:

1. Videos

This is a particularly interesting advantage of digital magazines. You can break-up the pace of a particularly long article with videos. Maybe it can be an interview with the subject of your article. Or you can also have a video ad on autoplay once they reach a certain point on a page. Surely, embedding videos in your articles can help engage your readers even more.

2. Audio

Let’s say an article is about an interview with a famous conductor of a national symphony orchestra. You can embed audio files that will help enrich the article even more. Don’t just limit your readers to reading about music. Now you can let them listen too! Another use case is for podcasts.

3. Dynamic animations

Many creative websites have been created with complex but stunning animations using combinations of HTML, CSS and Javascript. Since HPub is HTML based, you can have more creative freedom in displaying your digital magazine. Who needs static layouts when you can make them dance in front of your reader’s eyes?

4. Responsive design

Just like the best websites on the internet today, you can also optimize the way your digital magazine is viewed depending on whether they are holding their devices upright or sideways or whatever the size of the device is.

5. Lossless text resizing

You can choose to render text in SVG format to bring further emphasis on them. Imagine article titles, headers or quotes that you want to stand out can be formatted with a special impactful font. These can be rendered across devices regardless if they have the font in their systems or not and since they’re SVG, resizing them won’t affect their quality.

6. Other embeddables

Magazines are expected to deliver high-value content. Readers expect magazines to deliver a deeper look into a topic or subject and this is particularly true for business or current affairs.

Some online news sites with the necessary in-house skills embed interactive data explorers to further support their arguments in their articles. Writing an article about rising unemployment? Why not also add an interactive data explorer where readers can click on regions on a map to see the regional unemployment levels?


By creating your digital publications with an HPub format, you are taking advantage of web technology’s highly dynamic, versatile and interactive ways to engage content readers. You don’t just have to rely on your contributors’ creative writing skills to wow your readers. Now, you have a whole host of options to deliver your message across.

Since magazines need to engage their readers more and in increasingly creative ways, adopting HPub is perfect in the age of short attention spans.