Audit Bureau Gives Mag Publishers ‘Digital’ Edge for iPad

Magazines & the iPadThe Audit Bureau of Circulations has provided a life line for struggling magazine publishers in the U.S. and Canada by making it easier and more rewarding to push content and advertising onto Apple’s iPad and other tablet computers that also serve as reading devices.
ABC’s board today announced that it has modified the definition of a digital edition. It no longer has to be a in a layout identical to a print edition. A magazine’s digital version now only has to include the print version’s editorial content and advertising – without being identical in its presentation.
The modification means that publishers can count iPad or other e-reader subscriptions, such as those on Amazon’s Kindle, as part of a magazine’s overall circulation as long as all the same editorial and advertising material is included.
And that is crucial for print publishers’ rate base, the circulation they guarantee to advertisers. The rate base helps determine what they charge for ads.
The news comes as Apple’s highly–anticipated iPad, which it also promotes as a reader, is scheduled to begin shipping April 3. 
The iPad gives publishers greater options than most readers since Apple’s tablet provides the ability to place color advertisements alongside articles.
The important next step for print magazines is to convince iPad and other device users to pay for subscriptions, a major challenge based on the public’s entrenched aversion to paying for content on the Internet.
“ABC’s action is good news and a timely step forward for both publishers and advertisers in advance of the iPad launch,” said Brenda White, senior vice president of publishing activation at Starcom and an ABC board member. “It’s encouraging to see magazines expanding their brands and taking advantage of new technology. It will take some time, but I’m confident that e-readers and other mobile devices are going to become important channels for marketers to engage with their audiences.”
The bureau said it encourages publishers planning new e-reader editions or mobile apps to seek ABC evaluations.
Wired magazine was the first publication to seek a review of its iPad version under the bureau’s new guidelines. GQ has offered an ABC-approved app for the iPhone and iPod Touch for more than a year.

One thought on “Audit Bureau Gives Mag Publishers ‘Digital’ Edge for iPad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *