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very Friday morning, that week’s issue of the Economist lands on my desk in FIPP’s London-based office. Up until two years ago

this was always a delightful moment – the pulling apart of the polythene wrapper and the quick scan of the contents, noting which in-depth articles I’d be getting my teeth into on my train commute home later that day. Not any more, and not for the past two years, as now each Friday morning my tablet edition of the Economist arrives in my iPad in time for my morning commute. Better still, it arrives no matter where in the world I am, and given FIPP is a worldwide organisation and I travel a lot, that’s a pretty handy facility. It doesn’t have much in the way of bells and whistles, but I really like my tablet edition of the Economist. I mention this because there’s been

quite a bit of activity in the Twittersphere about the story FIPP ran recently entitled ‘Are tablet magazines dead or

enthusiasts rightly point out that it’s simply too early to be that definitive given the amount of experimentation going on in terms of functionality, pricing models and understanding the new marketing demands and techniques. They explain that digital edition downloads are doubling each year, and that the tablet universe itself is growing massively – the global number of tablet users to the end of 2013 is some 439 million, compared to a PC user base of 1.5bn, and a smartphone user base of 1.6bn, which shows the potential that exists for tablet expansion. Clearly, both arguments need examining

in depth. Which was one of the reasons that FIPP created the Digital Newsstand Forum (DNF), held in Bangkok in May (see pages 31-33). Experts from the service provider side and from magazine media groups were in broad agreement over some basic issues – that yes, it is far too early to be definitive; that readers like PDF editions

“One argument is that magazine apps are simply invisible, as search engines and social media don’t pick them up...”

alive?’ ( dead-or-alive). The story is a synopsis of the chapter in our Innovations in Magazine Media 2014 World Report and highlights the key issues of this debate. Those that felt tablet magazines were

dead highlighted how magazine apps were simply buried in the wealth of apps people had on their phones and tablets – a Nielsen estimate was that the average user has 41 apps, for example. The second argument is that magazine apps are simply invisible, as search engines and social media don’t pick them up or allow for sharing, thus cutting traffic potential. Then, of course, the economics of producing apps is used as the final clincher in the argument. On the other hand, tablet magazine


of a magazine (not on a smartphone, though), but that will change over time; and that just at the moment working on ‘discoverability’ is more important than creating the new killer app. Digital editions and apps, then, are ‘works in progress’. Concretely, there were two important

take-outs: all the pricing evidence, as presented at the DNF, suggests that users expect digital editions to be half the price of print; and advertisers now expect solutions across all platforms. So while digital editions open extremely

interesting new revenue streams in terms of ecommerce and the like, following where the consumer is going (and they are going mobile) and delivering what the advertiser wants, is still looking like the best strategy.

the worldwide magazine media association 35 New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, London, EC4V 6BW, UK

MAGAZINE WORLD Editor Amy Duffin (

Managing editor Karen Taylor Designer Ian Crawford

FIPP Chris Llewellyn President and CEO

Helen Bland Company secretary and information services director Natalie Butcher Events executive Sylkia Cartagena Research and administrative executive Andre Glazier Sales manager Stuart Hands-Bellion Commercial manager Cobus Heyl Marketing and membership services manager Christine Huntingford Vice president Claire Jones Events manager Jenny Stubbs Training coordinator

FIPP MANAGEMENT BOARD Chairman Fabrizio D’Angelo, managing director, Hubert

Burda Media Holding, Germany Vice Chairman Victor Shkulev, president, hearst Shkulev Media/InterMediaGroup, Russia Treasurer Erwin Fidelis Reisch, CEO, Alfons W. Gentner Verlag, Germany Immediate Past Chairman David Hill, president and CEO, International Publishing Services, IDG USA President And CEO Chris Llewellyn, president and CEO, FIPP, UK

FIPP ADVISORY BOARD Hubert Burda, chairman of the board and publisher, Hubert

Burda Media Holding, Germany Thomaz Souto Corrêa, member of the board of Abril Group, Editora Abril, Brazil Axel Ganz, president, Axel Ganz Communication, France George Green, consultant, Hearst Corporation, USA William T. Kerr, member of the board, Arbitron, USA Akira Nagata, special advisor, Nikkei Business Publications, Japan

DIRECTORS Matt Stanton, CEO, Bauer Media Australia Ralph Büchi,

Please note: The opinions expressed in this

magazine do not necessarily represent the views of FIPP.

president, Axel Springer International, Axel Springer, Germany Mike Marchesano, managing director, ABM, USA Yolanda Ausín Castañeda, general manager, ARI, Spain Eckart Bollmann, executive board member, Bauer Media Group, Germany Shi Feng, president, China Periodicals Association (CPA), China Pierre Lamunière, chairman, Edipresse Group, Switzerland Fabio Barbosa, CEO and editorial board member, Editora Abril, Brazil Rodrigo Sepúlveda, CEO, Editorial Televisa, Mexico Juha Blomster, chairman Finnish Periodical Publishers Association and CEO, A-lehdet, Finland Marcelo Burman, president and CEO, Grupo Cerca, Costa Rica Rolf Heinz, president and CEO, Groupe Prisma Média, France Victor Shkulev, chairman of the board, Hachette Filipacchi Shkulev/InterMediaGroup, Russia Rupert Heseltine, chairman, Haymarket Media Group, UK Duncan Edwards, president and CEO, Hearst Magazines International, USA Jim Sullivan, president, IDG International Publishing Services, USA Aroon Purie, chairman and editor- in-chief, The India Today Group Munefumi Bando, chairman, JMPA and COE, Kurashi-no-techo, Japan Young Chull Kim, chairman and group publisher, Kaya Media Corporation, Korea François Coruzzi, executive vice president international, Lagardère Active, France Mary Berner, president, Magazine Publishers of America, USA John Relihan, CEO, Media24 Magazines, Media24, South Africa Carlo Mandelli, chairman and chief executive, Mondadori International Business, Italy Terry Adamson, executive vice president, National Geographic Society, USA Barry McIlheney, CEO, PPA, UK Svida Alisjahbana, director, PT Gaya Favorit Press (Femina Group), Indonesia Enrique Iglesias, CEO, RBA Revistas, Spain Ken Whyte, President, Rogers Publishing, Canada Henk Scheenstra, COO content media, Sanoma Media Netherlands Wiluck Lohtong, president, Siam Sport Syndicate Public Co., Thailand Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, president, Summit Media, The Philippines James L. Jacovides, vice president, international, Time Inc., USA Liu Jiang, president, Trends Media Group, China Stephan Scherzer, CEO, Verband Deutscher Zeitschriftenverleger, Germany (Ex-oficio) Enrique Micheli, executive director, Asociación Argentina de Editores de Revistas (AAER), Argentina

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