With so much discussion about the iPad and the impact on e-books (see the New York Times article regarding the potential price premium of an e-book because of the iPad), there has not been much discussion on digital magazines. Until now.
Gregg Hano, Group Publisher of Bonnier Technology Group, spoke at a recent gathering sponsored by Digital Flash NYC (which sponsors some great business panels with solid Q&A — see the Digital Flash NYC site here for more on the group and their event schedule!) . Hano presented an explanatory video of the digital version of Popular Science magazine, currently researched with Bonnier design partner BERG, and spoke about the challenges and opportunity potential. Hano graciously listened to many questions from the audience, with excellent queries ranging from analytics to owner’s rights to the purchased content. Highlighted queries include:
- A digital magazine creates the potential for publishers to control content, though like book publishers, magazine publishers fret about how this can be done.
- There is potential for selling individual articles as well as selling e-reader subscriptions as a premium (at least initially).
- Advertisers can create ads rich in content that can true engage readers.
- There can be a distinct market for readers of a print magazine.
For web analytics, this along with iPad are further example of content consumption away from a given tagged website. The new challenge for blogs, e-magazines, newspapers, and other content providers is to capture the path that leads to traditional web metrics such as increased time on site and conversion.
Update: Bonnier has released a Popular Science app for the iPad. You can read about the new application, and how Bonnier developed the app in 60 days at the Apple site.