SPECIALIST MEDIA SHOW
How a niche publisher built a global mag app in-house
Loop Digital Media is the first business to be shortlisted for the 2012 Media Pioneer Awards, which celebrate innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in specialist media markets.
Publisher Sam Spurdens knew his audience of company buyers and private aircraft owners were early adopters of technology, but was surprised to discover that 37% of his audience owned iPads, and a similar proportion had them on their wishlist. 91% of the iPad owners would rather read their magazine on the iPad than in print. With over 50% of the audience expected to own iPads by Christmas Sam is taking the step of taking the magazines to the iPad and publish just one or two print issues as a marketing initiative in 2012.
Rapid growth in downloads in US and Asia
The print edition of business aviation magazine P1 has a circulation of 8000, with a UK bias. LOOP created their first iPad edition in-house using Adobe CS5 DPS, and created the video content in-house as well. The app is free to download and has now reached 5000 downloads in its first 10 weeks, with half from the US and 11% from Asia which is the fastest growing market for Business Aviation.
LOOP have actively promoted the digital edition of P1 to their print subscribers, and believe that the majority of the iPad owning readership have now switched to the tablet version of the magazine. But most of the non-UK downloads are new readers.
Reaching new global advertisers
With P1’s new international reach, larger, global advertisers have embraced the iPad edition, and have worked closely with the publisher to develop interactive ads. Limits on file size mean that the magazine can only accommodate a small number of interactive ads per edition, but global marketing budgets are larger.
In June 2011, LOOP published their first iPad app, Flighttest, a compilation of plane reviews for private owners, previously published as a print annual. Flighttest started out as a paid-for app, but has now gone free, and has exceeded 6000 downloads, again with a significant share in Asia. They are now working on data-capturing their new readers for their newsletter.
More iPad magazines planned
Sam has plans to bring his other magazines, Blades and LOOP, to the iPad in the next few months. LOOP launches at the end of September. The production process was extremely slow and painful at first, but now that the team have acquired the skills to publish on iPad, they are finding it a much more exciting medium for their niche content. The move was greatly helped by the fact that they have been producing their own video content for www.looptv.aero for six years. They see a lot of cross promotion benefits coming from their films which get over 40,000 views every month.
Calling designers, journalists and translators
As P1 evolves into a premium global publication, LOOP are developing Chinese and Russian language versions, and are actively recruiting for designers, journalists and translators. Contact Sam for more details www.loop.aero 01223 497060
Update on LOOP digital: April 2012
Since launching P1 aviation magazine on the iPad in June, LOOP Digital Media have become convinced that their future is in iPad editions not print.
The November issue of LOOP, a magazine for private pilots, was the last in print. Circulation was 13,000. In just four editions on the iPad, LOOP has reached 13,000 downloads, and has had 4.5* ratings. All of their four apps on the Apple App store are 4+ star rated and they have had over 50,000 App downloads in total from the App store. Two-thirds of these downloads are outside the UK, tapping into an audience that was uneconomic to reach in print. More importantly, it is valued by the aviation advertising community.
Pilots are early tech adopters, and Sam estimates that 70% of his audience own iPads. Those that don’t are less likely to be good prospects for advertisers, so the value of their new digital readers outweighs the loss of the old print audience.
P1 magazine, for the career pilot, has now expanded to 24,000 downloads, with over 70% outside the UK. Its reach now means that LOOP are working with global advertisers who wouldn’t have invested in a UK print magazine.
One of the keys to LOOPs success is their archive of video content, built up over several years, which provides interactive content for their apps. They are also increasingly creating video advertorials for big name advertisers. Freed from the print production process, the editorial team can be more creative with how they design the magazine, and new recruits have come from TV and gaming backgrounds rather than print journalism.
The iPad editions provide hard data on what features get read, and which ads drive engagement, allowing the team to optimize how they structure the magazine and how they price different sections.
While LOOP, P1 and Blades are all free to download and funded by advertising, review compilation FLIGHTEST has a cover price.
The core marketing channel for all the magazines is email, and LOOP has built up a great email database.
The next big adventure is their Chinese language edition of P1, due to launch in 2 weeks on the Ipad.
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We are delighted to welcome Audience Media as sponsor of the 2012 Media Pioneer Awards.
Audience Media reflect the values of the Media Pioneer Awards. They provide an innovative and flexible web-based SaaS content management system that publishers can use to create, manage and publish content, advertising and subscriptions across print, web, mobile and tablet, social media and other platforms, and, amongst other capabilities, manage their digital assets and reader data across all channels. Audience Media’s solution is designed to suit the needs of niche publishers and with low set-up fees (which includes development or redevelopment of the website and apps), it is available on an affordable and all inclusive monthly subscription fee, and can grow as the publishers’ business expands.
Audience Media will offer winners of the Media Pioneers Awards a free project build for one of their brands, which will include the design and build of the CMS, new website, native HTML5 iPad app and a free 3 months trial.
For more information, or to book a personalised online demo, contact email@example.com
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