Statistics from a Magazine Ad? Print Ads Shifting to Digital

There were an incredible amount of electronic paper devices – or ebook Readers – in 2009 although you probably wouldn’t realize it. You’ve probably heard of Amazon’s Kindle ebook reader and perhaps seen the new nook device in Barnes & Noble stores, and maybe you’ve seen the Sony ebook readers at Borders and Best Buys across the country. But also released, somewhat quietly, were at least 10 other similar devices from all sorts of different companies. There are even more in development that will be released next year.

All of these devices have some big things in common: 1 – they only display black and white print and are very poor at rendering graphics; 2 – they’re intended to use almost strictly for books (and some newspapers). As everyone is scrambling to create the killer device to read books on, no one has focused specifically on creating a device for displaying magazine content digitally. Well this has changed as Time Inc. magazine and Bonnier Corporation, publishers of many publications including Popular Science, Field & Stream and the TransWorld sports series, are developing devices geared specifically to reproducing print magazines on dedicated electronic devices.

Bonnier is working with European design consultancy Berg who just released some photos and a video of the planned device in action. You can see the still photos and read more about the device on their blog, but here it is in action:

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Pretty amazing stuff, and it will be equally impressive if they actually pull this off without the device costing $1,000+

What the heck does this have to do with internet marketing? Well, as they describe in the video, advertising will also be present on the device and because it’s electronic, it’s trackable. In the not-too-distant future we could track and report on the effectiveness of magazine and other print ads like never before – similar to how we track online campaigns. We could know exactly how many people viewed an ad, whether they shared it with a friend and maybe even if they made a purchase as a result. This kind of tracking is unprecedented in the print world and could do a great deal to prop up sagging advertising revenue in this industry. Although that may never recover to the levels it has been in the dead-tree world, it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless.

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