Having worked both sides of the publisher-advertiser fence, we understand the urgency for print publishers to go digital. By producing a digital edition of their title, publishers can ride the tech wave, attract more readers, and gain additional revenue. However, advertisers need some understanding of what this means for them. Let’s take a closer look:
Publishers typically pay a fee to an outside company to convert their original print files into a digital edition—and often an app, too. In order to keep this expense to a minimum, rich-media features are for the most part omitted, resulting in an non-platform optimized, under-performing asset, not to mention unimpressed readers, unwilling to pay for a “digital” subscription. Subsequently, print ad rates are increased and banner ads are added, justified by the newly expanded—non-revenue generating—viewership.
“…rich-media features are for the most part omitted…”
Unfortunately, this larger digital viewership can’t be measured by the same standards as print—user experience and behavior in the digital domain are significantly different. For example, viewers expect anything hosted on the web to be fast and free, which is precisely why publishers will never be able to monetize a “for print” publication morphed into a digital edition.
Within the typical digital edition, advertisers remain locked within a print-centric framework, usually with little more than a hyperlink or QR code added to direct readers to their website. This squanders digital’s opportunity to capture, engage, and reward the reader’s curiosity. Sadder still, it is often quicker to do a simple Google search to locate an advertiser’s website than it is to poke around within a non-optimized ad within a digital edition. And while it is true that the advertiser is seen by more eyes within these digital editions, the ads remain anchored to a devalued, underperforming print-cum-digital publication, doing little if anything to build the advertiser’s brand.