Why Tablet Magazines Flop

Posted by: Raeann Langas

Though they are visually appealing, tablet magazine are not going to make the cut.

Photo by:  Jens Schott Knudsen blog.pamhule.com

Photo by: Jens Schott Knudsen

A recent post on GigaOM lays out why tablet magazines fail. At first,  I was shocked. I thought tablet magazines were helping the magazine industry in our technology-driven world.

People say magazines are a lost cause because everyone is moving to digital, so it doesn’t make sense to me how digital magazines are failing.

Stunning layouts and interactive media make tablet magazines look amazing, but that is not enough. It appears that they don’t live up to all the hype.

According to Nielsen, which is an information and measurement company that helps companies better understand consumer behavior, the average mobile user has 41 apps on their smart phone but only opens 8 apps a day. With Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and an overabundance of games it is evident that there is not much room for magazine apps. Magazine apps are getting lost in a sea of smartphone applications.

One of the main problems with tablet magazines is they are not social network friendly. There is no way for users to “like,” “comment” or get others involved in the conversation. Information is spread rapidly through social networking sights and tablet magazines are not benefiting from this.

Since these magazine are apps rather than websites it’s content can’t be searched on the web. Even If they could the link would take them to the app store rather than to the article. Let’s face it, if a link doesn’t take the reader where they want to go you have lost them.

Are you a fan of tablet magazines? If you think tablet magazines are a failure what can change to make them be successful?


3 responses to “Why Tablet Magazines Flop

  1. I haven’t subscribed to any tablet magazines, but I feel like for certain publications they could work well. For tabloid magazines like People, I feel like customers would actually use the apps. But with most magazines, the app would fall to the way side. Personally, I like to cut pictures out of magazines and save them for later. With a tablet magazine that is not possible. There is just something about turning the glossy pages of a magazine and knowing the whole issue is yours to keep however long you like. Will regular magazines go away, I don’t think so. But there could be an increase in tablet magazines if they are changed to fit people’s expectations of print magazines.

  2. I love sitting down and flipping through a magazine as well. I can’t tell you how many magazine clippings I have stuffed in drawers or tapped on the wall. It is interesting to see the rapid rise and fall of tablet magazines. I am eager to see how the industry responds to the failure of digital editions.

  3. You make a really great point about not having social media capabilities, Raeann. When we share something on Facebook, its reach is now expanded. If we can’t share, how do digital publications find more audience members? Word of mouth doesn’t work as well in the digital age as it did in previous years. Word of keyboard works much faster, and it’s something I hope tablet mags can adapt to soon to help keep alive the ones that are perfect for this format!

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