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Conde Nast to track iPad, Kindle Fire readership

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]

By Electronista Staff


  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006



    Why can't they just sell me a magazine and let me read it in privacy? Is it possible to turn off all that data-gathering (even though it's supposedly anonymous)? Isn't it a violation to send them info of when I opened the magazine if I don't want the info sent?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    re: bad

    Because it's what keeps prices low. You don't want data-gathering, but you also want cheap magazines.

    Oh, and the whole point is to actually determine the usefulness of the ads. Advertisers like to know how much their money is being wasted.

  1. UmarOMC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001



    You guys *really* believe your information isn't being collected? Especially for publications. One thing its important to know is that advertising pays for publications-*NOT* your subscriptions, *NOT* the news stand sales-advertising pays for the largest part (read; almost the entirety!) of any publication and your information is happily passed along to advertising companies as part of their agreements with publishers. Those advertisers are usually referred to as "hand-picked associates" or "trusted business partners", et alia... this is only news to sleeping cows.

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