Early iPad data seem to be matching publishers' hopes that the device replicates the magazine-reading experience.
The Apple device has only on the market two months and magazine downloads are small potatoes, so the data are far from conclusive.
But digital publishing platform Zinio estimates that people who download its clients‚ magazines on the iPad in addition to reading them on a PC are spending at least 80 minutes with each issue. Zinio publishes digital editions for magazines including Harper's Bazaar and Car and Driver.
By comparison, Zinio estimates that readers are spending half that time when they read digital issues on a PC only.
Condé Nast, similarly, has said consumers are spending about 60 minutes reading the iPad/iPhone edition of GQ, its first magazine to be available on the device.
Data from MRI show that readers of print magazines, meanwhile, spent about 70 minutes a day with the medium.
Readers also are accessing their digital magazines more often on the iPad than on the PC, according to Jeanniey Mullen, global evp and CMO, Zinio.
Mullen attributes the difference to the tablet’s portability. “Your iPad content is always with you, so it’s easier to keep looking at it.”
Advertisers are taking a leap of faith by playing on the nascent platform as Apple is maintaining a tight grip on the information it provides about their apps usage. Advertisers who are spending money there are getting only download numbers, if that, from publishers.
They’re clamoring to know far more, like how much time readers are spending with their ads, how many are clicking on them, what the demographic profile of the app’s readers is, and if they’re already print readers of the magazines.
“If the iPad is being offered as equal to if not better than print, I would hope that the time spent is at least the same as the time they spend with the print issue,” said Debbie Sklar, who buys print for Horizon Media.