Many publishers are still unsure how to embrace digital publishing although they are aware they need to do something. When we speak to many clients about creating an app for their publication quite often their response is that they already have an online page turner or flipbook which works on all devices. Very true.

Online, flipbook or page turner whichever is your preferred terminology have been around for a number of years prior to the launch of the iPad in 2010. Since the launch of the iPad and other Android tablet devices all the major titles now have native iOS and Android apps with very little exception. However, there are a number of publications, in particular free and regional titles that have hesitated in taking the step into the world of apps. From talking to such publishers about this the common response is that an app is just an additional cost without any real benefit and does not provide a new revenue stream. Not true.

We have identified a number of benefits to publishers as to why an app does have its benefits even if you are a free publication. Firstly, the app, your magazine title, is an icon on the users device and given that we look at our phones on average 85 times per day that can’t be a bad thing. Next, push notifications, an excellent way to communicate with your users that are far more visual than an email for example. Lastly the user experience and user engagement on a web browser simply can not compete with a phone or tablet. Even more last but not least and one of the most important benefits is the ability to read offline. In our busy lives it is not very often we are offline these days but when we are is a great time to read which is where an app wins hands down versus a web solution. Very true.

5 ways to monetise an app version of a free publication.

  • Seek a main sponsor for the app with their branding on splash screen, icon and library page
  • Affiliate links
  • Web links to advertisers websites
  • Run competitions using push notifications
  • Pop up ads

We would love to get comments from publishers that maybe thinking about their digital options or would like to share their past experiences.