Since “search” accounts for about half of every online ad dollar spent, the extent to which interactive magazines affect search is an important consideration for any media buyer. When an interactive magazine enters a market, it eliminates part of the functional need for search by consistently providing its subscribers with current and ongoing content. This is finding #8 from the study "The Case for Advertising in interactive Digital Magazines":
Over one third (34.2%) of interactive digital magazine readers report that they use search less after subscribing to an interactive digital magazine
When readers do not use search, they bypass exposure to both organic and paid search listings, as well as search ads. With over a third of interactive digital magazine readers reporting that they use search less after becoming regular subscribers, there is potential for marketers to miss targeted customers. Further, since subscribers to an interactive digital magazine would likely be among a market’s most engaged customers, the potential for advertisers to miss that market’s best customers by using search alone is very real.
This is why interactive magazine advertising works well as a complement to search. Ads in interactive digital magazines reach subscribers whose informational needs are being satisfied by an ongoing stream of content, and so are searching less often. Tom Winsor, publisher of HorseLink, has some thoughts on why interactive digital magazines can displace the need for search: “When a knowledgeable editor sorts through everything going on in a niche and gives her readers only the most important things, she is acting like a search engine for the reader’s interests.”
The Internet has millions of destinations, and searching for the right content can take time. Eroin McSorley, editor of Monkey magazine, sees his mission as a time-saver: “When you’re surfing the Web, the only time constraints are ones you set for yourself. With Monkey magazine, we take a little chunk of 25 or 30 minutes each week and cover all the aspects of what young men would be looking on the Web for anyway.” When editors of interactive magazines anticipate their readers’ needs and deliver content to them on an ongoing basis, readers have less to search for, thus making search and interactive magazines a complementary media buy