[In-Class] iPad Case Study

What are the advantages e-magazines have over traditional print magazines? Consider the capabilities, content generation and promotion.

One main advantage e-magazines have over traditional print magazines is the ability to update information.  You could be reading the latest print Sports Illustrated and some of the statistical information could be out of date by the time you read it.  An e-version of the same magazine would be able to be updated so no matter when the information is accessed it would be the most current.  E-magazines do not rely on delivery or purchase at the grocery store so if you wanted a new magazine you could achieve that by simply pulling out your iPad.  You could be anywhere you can access the internet and your favorite magazine would be at your fingertips.  The ability of e-magazines to be interactive with advertisements and content is also a huge advantage over print magazines.

What are the disadvantages e-magazines have over traditional print magazines? Consider ideas such as consumers’ resistance to change, competition and finite readership.

Most readers of magazines may not own iPads and would have no use for an e-magazine.  Reading them on a normal computer does not seem to be as convenient.  Many consumers would also still prefer to have the magazine in hand just like with e-books.  Not having the samples that accompany some magazines may also be a reason some consumers are reluctant to change to e-magazines.  Some people also might not like the idea of reading something online no matter if it is better or cheaper.  These would be some of the main disadvantages but in time I am sure the industry can adapt and overcome these shortcomings.

Do the audiences for e-magazines fundamentally change when they shift platforms?

Fundamentally they do not. Magazines attract a niche crowd. So the people who purchase magazines at the newsstand or have subscriptions are the same people who purchase them as an e-magazine. The only difference in the consumer may be their social status and even that can vary. The consumer that receives the magazine on the iPad might make a little more money and might be a little younger than the consumer who purchases the magazine at the newsstand. Fundamentally both consumers in the example are interested in celebrity gossip or sports or whatever. Income and age can be the only difference I see at the moment.

How would you price e-magazines for the iPad? Could the subscription model still work, or would you push for single copy sales?

I would price e-magazines for .75 cents cheaper than the traditional publishing business model for magazines. It makes more sense to me in terms of beating out the competition. Provide the consumer with evolutional technology while providing it at a cheaper price. You will increase the probability of e-magazines success. For instance, the New Yorker, although the app is free, is priced at $4.99 above the traditional magazine to see its full content which probably added to its declining sales. In addition to its high cost, individuals who bought the New Yorker complained about the time it took to download its content.  Why pay more for e-magazines through iPad when most of the content is free on the web. You’re already paying for an expensive piece of equipment (the iPad). I’m always optimistic when it comes to conservative ways, specifically the subscription model. In my opinion single copy sales are best for consumers. Therefore I would have both subscriptions that renew weekly or yearly and single copy sales. This is the way to satisfy a broad group of consumers. Yes, I believe that the subscription model can still work. Overall, my naïve opinion about traditional magazines and traditional publishing is that I very much believe that we still need both. Just because your converting to e-magazines to keep up with the younger population and/or technology, does not mean you have to stop producing what has worked for decades. They both can co-exist and have the content reach a well diverse population and age group. The subscription model is still selling; you’re just trying to reach a larger, more technical population by implementing models with multimedia capabilities at a lesser price–I hope.

What is the impact on advertisers and advertising on a digital, interactive platform?

Advertisers and advertising on a digital interactive platform has a positive impact in my opinion in terms of the multi consistent ways that consumers are able to receive advertisement. People these days are spending less time watching television and spending more time with broadband. People are demanding more control of their media experiences. Therefore, their behaviors and expectations have changed from the non traditional ways of receiving advertisement and information as a whole. Digital outlets for advertising has increased, since the internet is so popular and demanding. Outlets such as the internet are accessible through numerous digital products such as I Pads, computers, laptops, and most popular cell phones. Individuals utilize their cell phones to surf the net while they are driving, walking, working, or just in past time. Moreover, just about every phone that’s out now has capabilities to surf the web. If this is occurring, why not utilize the web as a reliable medium to reach consumers. Interactive digital advertising has the ability to reach consumers more quickly and completely than ever before. They do this while building positive, more meaningful and personal relationships with them. And companies like Akoo International Inc. have launched the most advanced Interactive Entertainment Platform in the digital out of home marketplace. They have done so by combining premium video entertainment, including videos by four major labels with a platform that enables viewers to activate content on LCD- TV screens by utilizing their mobile phones like remote controls. Advertisers have found a seamless and technical way to reach the masses on a cheaper, consistent basis by utilizing the digital interactive platform.

Christopher Fillmore

Matthew Herring

Anthony Cantu

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