How Big Is Big When You Are a Digital Magazine?

According to the AAM, only 65 percent of magazines in the market today offer a digital version.

In the second half of 2012, close to 8 million digital magazines were sold, which was a huge leap from the nearly 3 million digital magazines sold in all of 2011.

Is this big?

The total number of digital subscriptions compared to print subscriptions is still estimated to be only between 1 and 6 percent of total circulation. For those of us in the publishing industry, we can attest, getting to this point hasn’t been easy.

Industry analysts are predicting that by 2015 close to 10 percent (and possibly 15 percent) of all subscriptions will be digital. By 2020 that percentage will swiftly move to over 50 percent. The growth we expect to see is just beginning. Is your company (and are you) prepared to handle it?

To help position yourself for large-scale growth I have created a growth preparation checklist you can print out and keep with you. This checklist won’t tell you what to do to grow, but it will help you ask questions to ensure you are setting yourself up for growth.

If you have valid answers to eight or more of these, congratulations! You are destined for digital stardom.

If you can answer four to seven of these with confidence, great! Keep it up. You are on your way to success.

If you can only answer one to three of these right now, don’t fear. Innovative business models take time, patience, and perseverance. Now at least you have a checklist.

If this list made you cry, cringe, or hit your screen, you might want to stop for a bit and go get a coffee.

The “Are you big enough?” readiness assessment:

  1. Does your digital magazine deliver enough revenue to offset your production and marketing costs?
  2. Can you preview and buy your digital magazine from any platform (even if it means using a web browser)?
  3. Are you selling your digital magazine in countries other than your own?
  4. Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Kred, and Wikipedia presence?
  5. Are you creating XML for your files?
  6. Do you have distribution outlets outside of major app stores?
  7. Are you working with at least 10 brand partners?
  8. Do you know who your best customers are (in digital) and why?
  9. Have you considered which generation is your best target?
  10. Have you considered three new ways to monetize your content that do not include selling annual subscriptions?

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

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