What the iPad really means for the publishing and marketing industry

Kevin Cochrane, CMO at Day Software, details the marketing potential of devices like the iPad…

The last few months have been dominated by one brand – Apple, and most notably its recently launched iPad. Many have hailed it as a ‘game changer’ for many reason; its impact on the device market, internet experience, marketing, gaming and rich media content. One subject hitting the headlines along with the iPad is the future for digital publishing, and has resulted in some attention grabbing headlines, such as ‘The Death of Publishing’. The digital landscape for the publishing industry has been picking up steam for some years now and it seems many believe that the iPad could spell the end for the print industry. However, it seems that recent research into what the everyday consumer feel about the print industry is a stark comparison to this.Step back and look at the bigger pictureResearch giant YouGov has revealed that almost two thirds (60 per cent) would be happy to pay for good quality journalism in print but not online, with only 2 per cent willing to pay for newspaper content online. Could it be that the industry has moved ahead with predictions on how it sees the publishing industry changing without consulting or considering what the public wants? An important factor to consider here is the fact that many of the respondents were not against digital content, they just did not feel that they should pay for it. This is most likely as they have so far not had to pay for content online and as newspapers like The Times and Sunday Times move towards a pay wall, we expect to see some resistance. If we look at the FT.com, which has always had a pay wall and with much success as an example of how to set expectations, we could also see the iPad as a benchmark. Wired’s iPad application sold thousands in its first day both in the US and UK, much of this had an element of ‘hype’ attached, but shows that if consumers accept paying from the beginning they will be willing to pay for digital content in the future.How to utilise company applications for devices like the iPadThere has been much speculation and predictions made as to how the iPad will impact the publishing industry, and an important thing to remember is that the device certainly won’t be the ‘saviour’ of the industry. If a publication is failing in print and online it certainly is not going to suddenly flourish with the same content on the iPad. Publishers need to ensure that devices like the iPad offer the same quality online as in print, with additional value. Associated Northcliff Digital, the publisher of e.g. Daily Mail Online and Metro, has been working with Day Software on its online outreach and management for a number of months now. Most recently the organisations have been working together on the development of AND’s Metro iPad application. Day's content management solution is now the dual platform for both Metro's online (the traditional desktop channel) user experience and its new, paid subscription iPad experience. This encapsulates the importance of replicating the same good experience that readers have online with that of the iPad experience, ensuring a consistent experience across all channels. For example if ‘Reader X’ does read entertainment stories online, ‘Reader X’ will not see these stories via their iPad app – targeted with additional value.What the iPad really means for the marketing industryIf the publisher gets the engagement and experience consistency right, the exciting marketing experience comes into play. Taking the Metro’s iPad app as an example, where readers can flip through articles at a flick of their finger, scroll through a timeline of stories, and rotate and zoom in on images. The strategy has advertisers jumping for joy at the potential of content for devices like the iPad. No more static images, but interactive advertisements with imbedded videos and direct links to share content via social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. From a business perspective the app will mean users staying loyal to the brand as well as attracting advertising.The iPad makes information more accessible, more usable, cheaper to publish, enables interaction of text, music or video and allows users to share content across other channels easier. The iPad is going to transform how information is exchanged and make it more innovative, interactive and exciting for consumers. Companies can now not only be seen by a reader, but they can also engage the reader with its products within the advertisement. Through content that is optimised and personalised to them, consumers have shown that they are willing to pay for digital content and the iPad is one outlet showing this.

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