Hearst: Making Headway on Mobile but Still Bullish on Print

Company likely to test new print mag in 2013, despite 800,000 paid mobile subs.

Some interesting quotes about their readers appears in the article. I agree with these two:

Print magazines remain the state of the art for certain kinds of media consumption—including young consumers, Carey said.

“For glossy, high-design, tactile magazines, we are in an aspirational business and magazines will always be the preferred medium for inspiring those dreams,” Carey said. “These glossy aspirational things—they work great in print. Magazines transport you to a different place.”

But after speaking with hundreds of women, young and old who adore their fashion magazines, this is certainly NOT what they want from their mobile experience:

We’ve found that most people just want a mobile version of the magazine itself, with some enhancements.

Maybe that’s okay for guys. But we’ve found that women want to know more than just want’s on that page! Who can read a pdf replica on a smartphone anyway? If there’s a dress and shoes, a handbag, necklace and earrings, they want to know exactly where to buy those items, and not just the home page URL. If there are interactive ecommerce options, the click-to-buy needs to work from every item, not just some. And each page needs to be interactive, not just a select few. Readers want to control their interactive experience, not be fenced in by it. Inconsistency in the interactive experience is much more frustrating than no interactivity. If you can link to one item, why can’t you link to every item?

And guess what? If ads have websites, Facebook pages, videos, Pinterest boards and ecommerce sites, we want to see all of that, too! Don’t make me put that magazine down and go look things up myself. Not with today’s technology.

Understanding the real pain points of readers is the start of developing the right reader solution. Then you select the appropriate tech that best delivers that solution. New tech folks tend to miss that as, well, tech folks.

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