Magazine publishers have spent millions to re-create their editorial content for the iPad, but often, the ads have fallen flat.
Throw in low magazine download numbers, small penetration of the iPad itself and lack of engagement data available, and it’s easy to see why marketers are balking at spending much on the platform.
Bonnier Corp., publisher of special-interest titles like Popular Science and Field & Stream, believing the tablet market is poised to take off, has partnered with agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky to develop better ad formats for tablet magazines.
“If you look at ads right now, there are some magazines that are trying to incorporate all the ads from the print magazine, and they’re flat ads with some links,” said Megan Miller, Bonnier’s R&D program director. “Some of them have interesting features like 360 rotation, some have videos. But we don’t think that as a whole, the advertising has reached its potential. Even if in the short term we might not be getting the kind of volumes we have in print, it’s going to emerge as a leading technology, and we need to be there when that does occur,” she added.
The company has been researching what consumers, publishers and advertisers want when it comes to advertising on tablets, using engagement data from Omniture and Flurry and interviews with iPad users about their behavior. Part of the research will be released in mid-February. Bonnier plans to use that research to have Crispin design ad concepts that would be used across Bonnier’s titles, starting with Pop Sci.
Sweden-based Bonnier was one of the first publishing companies on the iPad when the tablet first appeared back in April, starting with a digital version of Pop Sci. Since then, it’s launched 10 more titles on the device on its Mag+ publishing platform, and is preparing to launch more this year for the iPad and other tablets.
Bonnier joins other companies like Condé Nast and Hearst that have been researching consumer behavior on the iPad.