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Sunday, April 20, 2008


The Birth of the Digital Newsstand

Did you know that digital magazines are booming? It’s a market that has been out for less than five years, but it’s just now beginning to take off, and I can understand why. Have you ever wanted to read a magazine right now, at the very moment you think about it, but you can’t get to the bookstore, newsstand, or market? I know I have. Well, now you can go to a virtual newsstand and purchase that publication to view immediately. Not only can you read your favorite magazine right away, you can also interact with the content. Some magazines even go a step further--adding video and audio to the mix. I know nothing beats sitting down with a magazine and leafing through the glossy goodness, but it’s great to have that option available at your fingertips.

One of those sites is, which calls itself "The World’s First 24/7 Global Newsstand" and has over 850 titles from 20 countries to choose from. Readers can purchase single issues or subscriptions, and read the magazines anytime, from any location, and in any language. Here’s a screenshot:

What does this mean to freelance writers?
In my opinion, I don’t think it will affect us at all. In fact, it may help. Statistics from "Digital Magazine Study" show that readers are more likely to visit advertiser’s sites on a digital version as opposed to print. That means that publishers can track the effectiveness of ads in real time--and we all know that a magazine with a lot of ads has more money to spend on freelance writers. In addition, writers may also receive extra payment for publishing the same piece online. Bonus!

What does this mean to publishers? By going digital, publishers lessen print and circulation costs, gain real time statistics, interactivity, and strengthen their brand. They also have the ability to tap into markets that may have been out of their reach before, such as international. On the production side, it’s not that much different than putting out a print magazine. There are companies that will take the print files that are done in programs such as InDesign, and convert them to a web friendly version, complete with analytics, rich media, and social capability. Sites such as:

But are readers willing to make the total switch? I still enjoy curling up with a good book or magazine, but like the idea of being able to view something immediately if I’m researching information. What do you think?

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Blogger MP said...

Interesting! I didn't know about this. My recation is exactly the same as yours: "I still enjoy curling up with a good book or magazine, but like the idea of being able to view something immediately if I’m researching information. "

8:59 PM  
Blogger john said...

Nice post, digital revaluation in print media is worked well. Online readership is increased dramatically from the past three years. All the publishers are presenting their publications through online and some publishers are using the companies like in distribution of publication over the new technology mediums. Digitization becomes the revenue generation tool for all print publishers.

4:18 AM  
Blogger Marcus Grimm said...

Thanks for the post, Angela and also for mentioning Nxtbook Media.

Most of our publishers convert between 15-20% of their readers to digital. For them, their move is to offer the magazine in both formats, and let the reader choose which they prefer.

For freelance writers, there's another opportunity we've seen. Publishers are experimenting with new digital-only titles, which are cheaper to launch than print titles. However, they still need great content, which is where the freelance writer comes in.

Marcus Grimm
Marketing Director
Nxtbook Media

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Erika said...

Thanks Angela for this great post. We are a digital only magazine, dedicated to the work-at-home parent. For freelancers, digital editions can offer an additional platform to pitch, as Marcus said, because we still need great/quality content. One of the great things about digital is that it is a green solution for magazine production, and it allows for other dynamic content such as podcasts or other multi-media capabilities, which enriches the reader/subscriber experience. You can also provide links to discussion groups so that readers, who may be scattered across the country or world can interact with one another about the articles that they read. Sure, it's not the same as curling up with a physical magazine, but most you can still print out if you want; but you also get the interactive community experience that you might not get with a physical magazine.

Erika-Marie S. Geiss

12:09 PM  

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