Hearst Magazines, publisher of many magazines including Elle Decor, Veranda, House Beautiful, Country Living, Veranda and HGTV Magazine, has been following a business model focused on paid digital circulation and is not offering free access to print subscribers.
“We believe that consumers are willing to—and do—pay for great content on multiple platforms and, with over 500,000 paid digital subscriptions across our portfolio so far this year, we have seen that play out,” said David Carey, president, Hearst Magazines.
As of today, the company will take the next step and start releasing metrics on its paid digital copies, specifically its iPad editions. These metrics will include total paid copies, total time spent per reader per issue and average number of sessions per reader per issue. Hearst will begin sharing data with advertisers about its total paid copies per month immediately, followed by the other two metrics as soon as possible for those titles that are currently able to track.
With these new metrics, both Hearst and its advertisers will get further insight into the engagement of these purely paid subscribers and single copy readers of the company’s digital editions. As the still-nascent tablet landscape expands, Hearst expects that measurement will increasingly become more stable and accurate, which will enable both publishers and advertisers to learn more about how consumers interact on this medium.
The growth in digital copies has been dramatic. Cosmopolitan surpassed the 100,000 mark and is expected to reach or exceed 1 million paid digital subscriptions by the end of 2012.
“We have been extremely pleased with the engagement metrics that we’ve seen to date, although the analytics are still in their infancy,” Carey added. “As we get more reliable data from manufacturers, we’ll be able to share more with our advertising partners. And as we build what we feel is a sustainable business model in the tablet space, the premium paying audience we are delivering to our advertisers will continue to grow—and that’s exciting for both parties.”