Magazines Slow to Optimize for Cross-Platform Viewing
May 13, 2013 -- According to a recent study, magazine publishers have been slow to optimize their products for cross-platform viewing -- 93% of the leading consumer magazines surveyed don’t offer readers complete cross-platform digital experiences.
Brand Perfect commissioned analysis of the cross-platform performance of 100 leading US, UK and German consumer magazine titles. The home pages of the select magazines were analyzed to determine whether they were optimized for iPads, tablets, iPhones and smartphones. The readability and effectiveness of the ads displayed on these sites were evaluated.
Brand Perfect is a collaborative worldwide network of brands, designers and developers exploring what branding means today.
The majority of the magazines analyzed have a mobile app; 83% have at least one app available in the Apple app store, Newsstand or Google Play; 65% of publishers have created iPhone apps and 40% have created apps for the Android.
Just a quarter of the US and UK sites were effectively optimized for tablet display; the majority of publishers are simply publishing scaled-down versions of their websites, as opposed to serving responsive-designed content and advertising.
While the scaled down versions of magazines and their advertising were readable on a standard iPad, the study found them difficult to view on a 7” Nexus tablet.
For smartphone viewing, a full 43% of the titles are merely scaled-down versions of the magazines’ websites, thus not taking into account readability; the study notes that ads on these mobile sites are often difficult for the user to see or read.
Among the questions the report poses, “Are magazine apps delivering advertisers any real value? Many of them are no more than direct transpositions of the print product into the apple store, with the advertising similarly migrated with little thought to the context of the reader. And what of these readers? How many of them actually exist? Without satisfactorily audited circulation figures available, especially where apps are bundled in with print subscriptions or available for free, how many people are seeing them?”
About: Conducted February 18-March 1, 2013, this study commissioned by Brand Perfect evaluated the online performance of 100 consumer magazine sites in the UK (50), US (28) and German (22) markets. The magazines were selected from a cross-section of titles from the leading magazine publishers in those markets, and a smaller selection of independent titles with significant readerships or influence.
Information on circulation for the UK market came from the Guardian’s top 100 paid-for magazines, January-June 2012; the US sample was based on the top 25 consumer magazines for the second half of 2012 as determined by the Alliance for Audited Media.
Source: Brand Perfect, Adventures in Publishing: The new dynamics of advertising, accessed May 13, 2013.