The publishing industry has been struggling for years with decreasing reach and - as a result - decreasing advertising income in the print segment. Digital add-on offers for print content are no longer an option, but compulsory for every publisher who wants to be fit for the future. In addition, digital add-on offers can be monetized better and better.
DIGITAL PUBLISHING OPTIONS
There are numerous ways to start a digital magazine or to seriously address the topic of digital publishing:
A blog on a website (an online magazine so to speak) ensures more reach and longer visits to the website. This has a positive impact on the Google ranking of the publisher's website. Of course, the blog and the website must be SEO optimized accordingly. You can see examples of successful blogs by my customers on Blickpunkt LKW & BUS or Maxnhager.
Monetization ideas for an online magazine / blog:
paid PR blog articles
a paid members area for exclusive content
Digital publishing with an e paper is also very popular and probably the most cost-effective way for a publisher to produce a digital magazine. The layout for the print magazine is created in Indesign anyway, the PDF file is generated for the printer. Publishers often provide this PDF file (in web-optimized resolution) as an e paper.
Monetization ideas for a digital magazine or an e paper:
e paper sale via an online shop on the website (see an example further down in this article)
subscription sales for an e paper directly on the website (see an example further down in this article)
The most professional way for digital publishing is providing an app including interactivity and multimedia features. Rich media at its best! Image slideshows, videos and other interactive elements smartly guide the reader through the app magazine. Additionally, an app is probably the best digital option for brand loyalty, as an e paper or an online magazine (blog) are quickly forgotten when the reader clicks away. With an app, the reader dives into the app magazine and is not distracted by many other tabs that are just waiting to be clicked.
Monetization ideas for an app magazine:
in-app purchases of individual magazine issues (like what I implemented for my customer connecting comPETence)
in-app purchases of individual items
free access to the app magazine only as a print subscriber
paid PR blog articles
advertisements (more on this in this blog article)
You can read more information about the new article-based app design approach in this blog article.
MY LATEST PROJECT: DIGITAL MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION AND E PAPER SHOP
My latest digital publishing project: Austria's no. 1 transport magazine Blickpunkt LKW & BUS has been available as a printed magazine for 35 years, for about ten years also as an interactive and multimedia app magazine for tablets and smartphones (on iOS and Android). I've been responsible for the design of the website, print magazine and app magazine for many years.
In order to benefit from the full potential of digitization, I designed an online shop for magazine issues from the archive, to be bought either as a printed copy or as a convenient PDF download (e paper). Additionally, I implemented digital, paper and combined subscription options, which can be purchased directly on the website and are automatically billed every year.
The great thing: Just 24 hours after the implementation, the first purchases were made in the shop and a few days later the first digital subscriptions were bought on the website. This is a clear signal for successful digitization in the publishing industry.
As part of the digital and combination subscription, paying subscribers receive an email from the website backend with a practical e paper download button. Email marketing couldn't be any easier than that.
MY OFFER FOR PUBLISHERS
Are you a publisher or do you publish regular print products and would you like to get started with digitization? Or would you like to improve your digitization steps that you’ve taken so far?