It’s been less than three years since the iPad first disrupted the publishing market, and at this point just about every publisher has an offering, either in print-replica or interactive format. Some publishers are driving new subscription sales on the digital front, and some are leveraging digital magazines to hang on to existing print subscribers.

Depending on who you talk to, or which survey you choose to read, there are varying reports about who really reads digital magazines and what traction, if any, digital is bringing to publishers. At the end of the day, though, it’s the mix of content, audience, and experience that makes or breaks the success of an app.

We recently learned that five of the apps whose launch TFP supported are among the top 20 grossing Adobe DPS apps. It’s a metric we’re proud of, but it has us digging deeper into why they’ve experienced such success, since they’re all very different.

Every publisher has a different perspective, and we’re looking for some alignment across the metrics. We’ve compiled a few recent observations about contributing factors to  iPad app success:

These are some of the questions we’ll be looking to track more data on:

  • Horizontal, vertical, or both orientations? New research may suggest that “both” wins.
  • How much interactivity is good, and what keeps readers engaged?
  • How many readers are really reading versus “skimming” or “swiping”? Are they truly immersed in the content?
  • Should apps be free with paid print subscriptions? Does this drive additional sub sales?

What questions are you anxious to get answers to? Post them in the comments section below—we’ll be sure to include them.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.