With all mediums facing the digital storm, it would be foolhardy not to join the bandwagon. And this applies to magazines too. As digital media experts Raul Suarez, Managing Director, Zinio International and Mahesh Murthy, Founder, Pinstorm and Managing Partner, Seedfund, stressed in their presentations as part of the ‘Digital Masterclass’ session, “Magazines won’t die, they’ll turn digital”. The Indian Magazine Congress is all about the print medium, however, a huge chunk of the discussions concerned the digital media.
Raul Suarez spoke extensively about the iPad and the opportunities that it offers for the publishing industry. According to him, in about three years’ time, there could be a revolution coming in with about 3.3 million iPads being sold in just three months of its launch. Suarez said that in general, applications were being paid for and 80 per cent paid apps were being downloaded by users. He further said, “The iPad tablet is pushing higher ad engagements than other mobile or online ad formats with ad interactions about six times longer as compared to desktops.” And with iPad being preferred for reading than browsing, there is a good opportunity for magazines.
Another important point that Suarez made in his presentation was that different devices had different levels of interaction and thus, “online is not a replica of print and mobile is not a replica of online. They all have their own traits”.
Mahesh Murthy, on the other hand, spoke of boosting print and online revenues using digital marketing. He made his presentation through a few points that stressed on the need for digital marketing. He started his presentation by saying “Magazines won’t die, they’ll turn digital.”
According to Murthy, digital reach in India was far greater than that of magazines, with the number of hours going up year on year. He also stated that the top 100 sites were far greater than magazines. Murthy made an excellent point when he said, “Today, the client spends more on print because that is what they use. Wait till the 25+ becomes clients and they will be using digital. Digital can no longer be an afterthought, and going forward, print will be looked as a mere teaser for digital content.” He added that the publishers would have to figure out their priorities.
Murthy pointed out that what worked in print did not work on digital, and magazines would have to be niche in a sense that they would have to give strong opinionated views. “Opinions are what will give the traction online,” he concluded.