New idea for magazines: A digital rate base
September 26, 2012
In what's being touted as a first for the magazine business, The Economist is setting a rate base for its digital editions.
As of Jan. 1 3013, the newsweekly will guarantee advertisers a readership of 50,000 subscribers who receive the magazine via iPhone, iPad or Android-based phones and tablets.
The rate base does not include print subscribers or those reading the magazine online or on e-readers or through multi-user licenses.
In March the magazine issued its first audited circulation report breaking out subscriptions across its various platforms, including digital. The audit was done by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
The magazine expects to release an updated consolidated circulation report every six months going forward, around the time ABC releases its semi-annual report on magazine circulation.
Digital subscribers to The Economist pay an average $106.61 a year, just a few dollars less than the cost of its print edition, which reported a circulation of 847,313 in North America for the six months ended June 30.
Over time, that digital readership should grow smartly.
Digital editions of U.S. magazine now make up just 2 percent of total magazine circulation, but growth is surging.
The number of digital editions more than doubled in the six months ended June 30, reaching 5.4 million as compared to 2 million for the year-earlier period, according to ABC.
By 2020, digital magazines are expected to pass print editions in revenue, according to a forecast by mediaIDEAS, a global research and advisory firm.
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