Should Your Tablet Magazines Move From Monthly to Weekly Updates?

Posted on November 5, 2012

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Print magazines may benefit from tablets even more than newspapers.

To paraphrase Stewart Brand, the right information at the right time can change your life, and consumers will pay for that convenience. That may be why a plethora of print magazines are now adopting paid subscription tablet editions.

In fact, Future has made £5 million from its iPad magazine in the last year.

But, as with any disruptive technology, publishers shouldn’t adopt all the rules of print publishing blindly. Future is now adopting its publishing schedule to release new content on a weekly instead of a monthly basis.

Before, weekly print publication was reserved for news magazines so that readers felt they were getting significant material in exchange for the newsstand or subscription price. And monthly magazines, with their longer production schedules, often had more pages, longer articles, and higher-quality production (think Vogue v. TIME ).

But in the digital space, attention spans are short, making long-form content more of a one-off purchase than a subscription retention method. Therefore, shorter, more frequent content might be a better bet for tablet magazines.

And, in fact, Future has launched three new weekly digital magazines:

  • Gathered, a weekly tablet-only spin-off of its print monthlyMollie Makes, a craft magazine.
  • Photography Week, a weekly spin-off of its monthly PhotoPlus magazine.
  • CyclingNews HD, a weekly iPad spin-off from its CyclingNews website and Cycling Plus magazine