July 8, 2015 Last Updated 9:45 am

MAZ infographic shows reader preference for tablets, growth in total digital magazine views

New CJR report looks at reader engagement on digital devices versus print, finding distractions on digital devices slightly effecting concentration

The digital publishing platform MAZ is trying to combat reports that digital edition circulation is falling with its latest infographic.

I love infographics, and this one is very good. It talks about tablets being the preferred reading device (versus smartphones) and talks about superior engagement.

Unfortunately, it is simply undeniable that digital circulation for digital editions is falling – the latest AAM reports clearly show this. The reason for this, though, is complex and has much to do with the one digital newsstand that initially drove sales, Apple’s own Newsstand. Becuase of this, and because smartphone growth continues, many publishers are shifting their focus to capturing these readers. Smartphones, of course, present a unique challenge to publishers, one not easily dealt with through replicas.

The world of media coverage concerning digital editions is also complex, with TNM being an early and consisten advocate for publishers moving to digital. While the established industry magazines have been less supportive, and have themselves failed to do much with digital editions (other than partner with PDF replica makers to launch an app).

MAZ’s data adds to the knowledge base of digital publishers and provides some useful information to guide media app developers.

Note: there is another study released today, How screens make us feel. This one centers on the reaction of readers to a story when read digitally versus in print form. It shows only minor differences in reaction, though print engagement levels were slightly higher.

“Naomi Baron, who studied students’ reading habits, says that when we sit down to read on a digital device, we have a different set of expectations for that reading experience than we do with a book,” Lene Bech Sillesen writes for CJR. “We expect to be interrupted and distracted, and don’t fully surrender ourselves to the reading experience.”

NEW YORK, NY – July 7, 2015 — MAZ, whose digital publishing platform powers over 1,000 apps for publishers like Conde Nast, Forbes, and USA Today, has unveiled a study analyzing data over the past three years to showcase how well digital publishing is performing. Results show seven positive trends in key areas of user acquisition and engagement that will continue to keep apps profitable for publishers and relevant for readers.

Key findings include:

  • Comparing iOS sessions during Q1 of 2013-2015 indicates that tablets are still the most popular devices to read on, with 63% of app sessions occurring on tablet over mobile.
  • Aggregate data collected over the past 3 years indicates that private reigns over public sharing. Over 70% of people choose to share privately. Within the private domain, 44% of people prefer using Email.
  • Looking at Lifestyle, Business, Sports, and Entertainment categories, readers of different genres utilize apps quite differently. Entertainment app users spend on average 3 minutes more engaging with the content than Lifestyle and Business end users.
  • Total digital magazine views have increased by 149% from 2013 – 2015 (17.3 M pages to 43 M), taking into account number of live apps per quarter.
  • Q1 2015 has shown that app launches on the iPad has increased by 132% compared to Q1 2014.
  • Timed Access, a proprietary MAZ tool that allows free access for users to read an issue for an allotted time, has led to a 4x higher conversion rate from free-to-paid downloads than the industry rate, and a 12% increase in subscription sales.
  • Utilizing push notifications leads to 2x more app downloads and sessions the day of a push notification.

These seven trends highlight a continued increase in reader engagement and acquisition. Despite negative critique surrounding the future of digital publishing and overall loss of revenue, there is a huge prospective market of downloads ready to become habitual app users.


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