Study: Interactive magazines outperform traditional Web sites

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Chicago—Digital magazine readers view the format as more engaging than traditional Web sites and are more likely to click on digital magazine ads than banner ads, according to a new study by Josh Gordon, founder of Smarter Media Sales. The study was funded by a digital magazine, VIVmag, and NXTBook, a producer of digital magazine software.

In an interview, Gordon said he didn't focus the study on digital replica magazines, which are faithful reproductions of print products and which he views as largely having failed as advertising vehicles. Instead, he queried the readers of eight digital magazines that are taking advantage of the interactivity offered by the Web and supplying readers with video, slide shows and Flash animation.

Of his study, Gordon wrote: “It is the first ever to be done on interactive digital magazines that are successfully selling advertising, with no digital replicas of print magazines included. It is also the first study to compare reader use of interactive digital magazines to other online media.”

Surveying the readers of the eight magazines, which included , Grand, PoPSci Genius Guide and Premier Guitar, Gordon obtained 5,612 completed online questionnaires in late 2009.

Seventy percent of survey respondents said they were more likely to ignore Web site banner ads than ads in their digital magazine. Similarly, 82% said they were more “engaged” with their digital magazine than with Web sites covering the same topic.

Gordon said digital magazines are poised to become more important because of their apparent compatibility with e-readers such as the Kindle and iPad.

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