media update’s Nakedi Phala takes you through four of the reasons why digital magazines are continuing to gain subscribers. 

Quite often digital magazines are seen as a way of reproducing a printed publication on screen. But, digital magazines offer more than just an alternative; they offer links, videos and embedded advertising space.

Here are four reasons why digital magazines are becoming the most sought after format for magazines: 

1. Digital publications offer convenient access to content 

The rise in preference for digital magazines emerges from the long hours users spend browsing the Internet. This has changed some readers’ habits with the introduction of tablets, smartphones, ebook readers and kindles. These devices have made content far more accessible and portable for readers. 

Publishing your magazine in a digital format offers a number of benefits:  
  • Readers can access it from anywhere and anytime of the day. 
  • Your audience can share interesting information from the magazine with their friends by using the ‘share’ feature on their devices. 
  • Digital magazines offer immediacy — a reader gets content straight after the release of the latest magazine in the comfort of their own space, without having to run to the nearest supermarket to grab a copy. 
  • A reader can easily carry multiple copies on one device rather than having to carry multiple hardcopies everywhere. 
Although print media certainly hasn’t disappeared, digital has served as a convenient alternative for readers to get the latest exclusives without standing in long queues to pay for the latest copy of their favourite magazine. 

2. Digital magazines offer global reach

The Internet is a great tool that allows you to tap into a world that consists of non-geographical borders and no barriers. When you make your magazine available online, it becomes internationally accessible by a bigger audience 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This can increase the number of subscriptions to your email newsletter and improve traffic to your website. 

For example, a learner in the United States  who is conducting research on South Africa’s Trevor Noah for an assignment can easily search through South African-based online magazines to find features about Noah before moving to the United States. 

In essence, your digital magazine turns into a port for research and reliable information. The digital format also gives your digital content the opportunity to compete in a bigger market, attracting more subscribers to your online magazine. If your magazine was struggling locally, publishing online allows you to diversify your markets so your revenue sources are more stable, even if local readership declines. 

3. Digital magazines are cost-effective 

Producing an online magazine is much cheaper than producing a hard copy magazine because it cuts production costs such as printing, distribution and circulation costs. It also saves costs because there will not be copies that go unsold.

An online publication platform gives you the leverage to monitor how many people have read or downloaded the magazine, immediately giving you an idea how much money is being made based on the content download or reads. 

For the reader, it’s cool to have your magazine dropped at your doorstep, but it’s even better to have it immediately emailed to you or to have the link SMSed to you. This way your dog won't be able to destroy it!

4. Online content is easy to re-edit 

If a hardcopy magazine gets published with an error, it’s nearly impossible to reverse the process and correct it without the audience noticing. But with digital platforms, publishers can revisit their stories and make immediate edits, including: 
  • improving clarity on content
  • clarifying scientific merit of research 
  • responding to comments about content
  • adding hyperlinks to other articles to add more value to the current article
  • updating parts of a story
With online publishing, you can make changes whenever you wish , add in more content or remove irrelevant things that you suddenly feel don’t make sense. You can also post your story at whatever time you want it published. 

Digital content is the future of internet media, slowly pushing aside tangible content. What are your thoughts about this shift? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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Now that you’re updated about digital magazines and how they are the convenient option for the reader, checkout out these 10 reasons why print thrives
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy