Adobe announced today new data showing an uptick in circulation and reader engagement of digital magazines created with its Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). According to Adobe, since the launch of DPS in 2011, 150 million DPS created publications have been delivered. Adobe has also seen a 115% increase in the number of downloads of DPS-built publications in a year-over-year comparison from November 2012 to 2013. Adobe also reports that DPS-created apps have three times as many unique monthly readers as they did one year ago. Currently, DPS powers the majority of all digital issues consumed on mobile devices, nearly 80%.
Also promising is the increase in readership engagement Adobe is reporting. On average, subscribers spend 50 minutes per month in DPS apps. “This is clearly a great indication that the magazine audience is really starting to transition from print to digital,” says Bridget Roman, senior product marketing manager, digital publishing for Adobe. “A lot of people are consuming both, of course, but that shift is happening and it’s happening in a very real way.”
That 50 minutes in-app time compares well to the 40 minutes readers reported spending with print magazines in a 2012 GfK MRI report. “It’s great, because we’re looking very print-like. We are even surpassing print and it’s all good news for advertisers and publishers. As circulation grows, time spent grows. This becomes an extremely viable marketplace for advertising and it’s ultimately going to translate into a healthy advertisement business for publishers and brands.”
Roman credits the improvements in circulation and engagement to the quality of content now being published in digital editions — more immersive and interactive content, such as video, audio and slideshows — as well as the marketing tools Adobe has incorporated in DPS.
Recognizing the need to counteract the siloing effect of digital editions, Adobe has made available customizable tools such as social sharing of articles, free preview of content, and push notifications. Roman says these in-app marketing tools were developed based on discussions Adobe was having on the consumer marketing side of publishing companies.
In particular, the ability to preview a magazine’s content before purchase seems to be great (and common sense) improvement. Much like a reader browsing the pages of a magazine at the newsstand, if the publisher enables the feature, readers can preview content to base their purchasing decision on.
Publishers have been seeing a lot of attrition between the time users downloaded the shell app to the time they could purchase an issue or a subscription. Roman says that this abandonment rate is decreasing and publishers are seeing healthy conversion rates; roughly 10 – 15 % of people who preview convert to a single issue or subscription.
Adobe has published a best practices white paper (download here) to assist publishers in taking full advantage of DPS features to generate awareness, collect data, formulate optimal pricing and subscription offers and maximize readership and purchase conversion.
Adobe also announced today that in Q1 2014 it will publish the technical specification for the .folio format for digital magazines under a free license. Adobe hopes this will accelerate digital publication adoption, enabling newsstands to produce their own viewing apps capable of displaying digital magazines built using DPS.
Denis Wilson was previously content director for Target Marketing, Publishing Executive, and Book Business, as well as the FUSE Media and BRAND United summits. In this role, he analyzed and reported on the fundamental changes affecting the media and marketing industries and aimed to serve content-driven businesses with practical and strategic insight. As a writer, Denis’ work has been published by Fast Company, Rolling Stone, Fortune, and The New York Times.