updated 09:25 am EDT, Thu March 15, 2012
Conde Nast explains reader data for iPad mags
Conde Nast took an important step towards giving tablet magazines a foothold by outlining regular readership data for its rapidly growing tablet apps. Advertisers and others who need it will now get both the usual subscription and one-time sales as well as metrics that can't be tracked with paper. The stats will show how often a reader opened an issue and how much total time they spent with it, showing the real engagement and whether an issue was effective.
For those companies paying for high-end and actively linked ads, the Vanity Fair and Wired publisher will show how often the ad was displayed or clicked as well as its its viewing time. Ad data will be relative to the rest of the magazine to put it in context.
Initially, the data will cover just iPad and Kindle Fire readers, although Nook Color and Nook Tablet versions will get similar tracking.
The information could be vital in making tablet magazines profitable as well as tailoring the content to readers. Publishers have complained that Apple's emphasis on privacy for readers prevents them from getting intimate details about readership, but access to anonymized readership data would let them make up a large part of the difference.
Conde Nast's senior research VP Scott McDonald has added that the company has already identified certain patterns in behavior. Readers tend to treat digital magazines like their paper kinds, reading sequentially instead of jumping directly to articles like they do on the web. Out of the nature of technology, they tend to be both younger and wealthier than print readers, although the Kindle Fire and Nook lines have reduced some of this gap. [via Ad Age]