For most publications it was a simple copy and paste job. We copied content from the magazine and pasted it right onto the the new website. The big question of the day was, "Should we hold off posting the web content, as it might hurt readership of the identical print content. Then something unexpected happened that changed everything:
That's right, nothing happened. Because we discovered that no new web content meant no new web visitors, and as result, no new ad dollars. The dialog abruptly shifted to how we could develop fresh content for the magazine's website and how to monetize it.
That was ten years ago. OK, so why are so many publishers having the same discussion, right now, about digital magazines?
I've heard it all over the magazine industry, "We tried publishing a digital magazine, but nothing happened." How soon we forget...no new content equals incremental new readership and incremental new revenue.
But what if you put new content into digital magazines? What if they were not just a duplication of your magazine but an extension into niche areas unprofitable to service with print? What if they were utilized as a new content platform, not just a means of digital distribution? What if they were created to function as graphical, upscale newsletters in industries or categories where graphical appeal counts?
The trend has already started. The people at "Winding Road" is a digital only car magazine that gets over 180,000 unique readers viewing an average of 22 pages every month. Click on the link below and take a look. It could be your future.
PS: Why no industry association has not taken the time to research the basics of how digital magazines work as an advertising platform is a mystery to me. I'd like to help start that discussion with anyone willing.