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Skeptics seeing allure of digital editions

`Demystifying digital editions" (Jan. 17, p. 13) although not entirely positive, did have a lot of truth to it.

I would like to clarify my quote about skeptical advertisers, since the second part was left out. While advertisers used to be skeptical of Web advertising, now they are fighting over premium spots and there is talk of the buying model changing to a TV-type "upfront" buy.

May I suggest a follow up piece called "Why advertisers are so skeptical of digital editions"? Digital editions present a win-win for all sides. Advertisers get Internet interactivity not found in print; readers get search and deep links; and publishers get distribution savings and can track reader habits to replace the lost bingo card. Unfortunately, a majority of advertisers are seeing "the glass as half empty."

There is an education process here that must take place with the advertising community. However, in the end it's the reader who will decide. If enough readers like digital editions, then the advertisers and publishers will follow.

Spencer Ewald


NXTbook Media

Lancaster, Pa.

Until recently, I would have been in the doubters camp with Carat's Sarah Fay on the efficacy of digital editions of print magazines, the ninth in your list of top 10 trends for 2005 ("Top Trends: 10 things marketers will focus on in 2005," Jan. 17, p. 1). Like many, I've become very comfortable reading print magazine Web sites. Plus, the few digital magazines I've tested have been clunky. But then your sister publication, Advertising Age, launched a digital edition via Zinio. I get an e-mail on Sundays telling me Monday's edition is ready to download. For two weeks in a row, it's been a very enjoyable experience reading Ad Age this way-articles as well as ads in their full-size glory. While I used to think of digital magazines as a bridge to the Internet for printcentric readers or a salve to printcentric advertisers, I'm not so sure any more.

Gary L. Slack

Chairman & Chief Experience Officer

Slack Barshinger


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