By Alyson Fixter
The first magazine to include digital editions in its official
circulation figures was announced this week – and a string of major
publishers are expected to follow suit in the coming months.
Accountancy Age has released an ABC certificate including analysis
of digital editions, although, under ABC rules, these are not included
in the VNU title’s headline circulation figure.
Wild believed the move would “open the floodgates” for other magazines,
while the ABC said there were more large publishers – both consumer and
B2B – that were working towards releasing digital figures.
increasing popularity of digital editions raises major questions for
the publishing industry, from the copyright issue to whether digital
advertisements have the same value as their print counterparts.
became one of the first publishers to hit obstacles over digital
editions last month when picture agencies refused to allow it to use
their photographs in both print and digital versions of titles,
demanding extra fees for dual use.
Advertisers have so far
insisted that digital editions be kept separate from print ones in
circulation figures, seemingly uncertain of the value of on-screen
editions as an ad medium.
Wild said his magazine had been first
off the mark with digital editions because of the specialised nature of
hisreadership, many of whom were senior executives who travelled
frequently and had little spare time.
“The search facility in a
digital edition is one thing you can’t have in a print title,” he said.
“If our readers are spending a lot of time on trains, they can load the
title up on their laptop rather than carrying it around.
“I would like to see the day in the near future when we are combining figures for digital and print editions.”
Pitt, director of B2B titles at the ABC, said: “Digital editions will
gather momentum, and I think how much momentum is gathered will depend
on the success of the business models publishers use. Some markets will
take more naturally to digital publishing.”