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BPA's Hansen assesses state of digital circulation

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As president-CEO of BPA Worldwide, Glenn J. Hansen has watched the growth of digital circulation from a front-row seat.

MB: What's happening with digital circulation?

Hansen: BPA now has upward of 100 members with some digital circulation, and that total jumps a bit with every six-month statement filing.

MB: And that growth is expected to continue?

Hansen: It seems clear that the upcoming postal rate increase, not to mention the recent upswings in paper prices, will add further momentum to the growth of digital. Also, a growing number of titles, even outside the IT space, are seeing more subscribers opt for the digital version, or even proactively request that a publication launch a digital version. In addition, more publishers are starting stand-alone digital products, either using repurposed content or starting new, highly vertical e-newsletters or e-magazines that would not be financially viable with the production and distribution costs of a traditional print format. Further, the industry is starting to see study results that indicate strong readership and engagement among digital subscribers.

MB: What should publishers be doing with their digital editions?

Hansen: Publishers need to drive home the fact that these versions are requested by individuals, just like print, even if copies are paid for by a third party. Also, publishers need to drive home that our standards and procedures for auditing digital copies are just as stringent as they are for print. Each and every digital copy is verified for delivery, and publishers must produce electronic documentation in very specific, BPA-mandated formats. Publishers also need to encourage and help advertisers to take advantage of the unique strengths of a digital format with more creative formats, messages and interaction.

-Mark J. Miller

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