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ePublishing and Carrier Billing – The Key to More Magazines on Mobile?

Technology is changing every aspect of people’s lives, including how they access information and many are embracing digital media on smartphones with the benefits of increased choice, affordability and easier navigation.

Digital publishers have long been looking for a way to generate revenues from content. Main revenue streams include native advertising, banner ads, sponsored content, affiliate sales, product sales and subscriptions.

In order to monetise digital content publishers need to understand and react to changing reader behaviour, and facilitate the most appropriate payment model. Carrier billing can offer a simple and safe way to pay with little effort for customers – could it be the answer to seeing more magazines on mobile?

The Global ePublishing Market

  • Revenue in ePublishing is projected to reach US$27,075m in 2021
  • The market’s largest segment is eBooks with a projected market volume of US$15,635m in 2021
  • In 2021 the average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to amount to US$15.34
  • Revenue in digital newspaper and magazines is expected to reach US$32,537m in 2021 with most revenue generated in the United States (US$15,287m)
  • UK eBook users are expected to grow to 16.37 million in 2025
  • The global audiobook market was predicted to grow by 25 percent to US$3.5 billion last year

The Impact of Covid-19

Covid-19 has impacted print magazine growth and is speeding up the shift from print to digital in virtually all publications. Revenue direct from readers will always be preferable to that from advertisers and the sooner publishers can make digital pay the better.

A recent study found 70% have concerns about their safety or the safety of their family due to reading a physical print magazine, journal, or newspaper during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And 54% of people are more likely to consume digital content over print while practicing social distancing.

Demand for online reading is surging. More than 120,000 people joined local libraries across England after 23 March 2020 (up more than 600% on the previous year), and loans of online e-books, e-magazines and audiobooks increased by 63%. School-based publication TIME for Kids even launched a free digital library for those affected globally by school closures during the pandemic.

Top Subscription Platforms

Print publishers can turn to publishing software for digitisation, but it’s easy to see the appeal of subscription platforms and apps that allow unlimited reading all in one place.

  • Readly is to magazines what Netflix is to films and offers over 5,000 different publications. It features all the top titles which you can easily access for a monthly subscription fee of £7.99. The platform also offered a 2-month free trial at the start of the pandemic.
  • Zinio – Rather than being an all-you-can-eat service Zinio lets users pay for individual magazine subscriptions – from over 6,000 titles. It’s aimed at the occasional magazine reader rather than someone who wants to be in the know on everything.
  • Magzter offers unlimited access to over 5,000 top magazines and newspapers for a monthly or annual subscription. You can also use it when buying one-off issues.
  • Scribd – Originally launched as a service for publishing academic papers, Scribd now allows users unlimited access to magazines, newspapers, and audiobooks in addition to a massive collection of books, all for a $10 monthly subscription fee.
  • Amazon’s subscription service Kindle Unlimited lets you borrow up to a million book and magazine titles online.

ePublishing and Carrier Billing

It’s clear that as consumer preferences change demand for mobile media continues to grow, accelerated even more so by the current pandemic.

Offering a choice that allows you to pay via your mobile phone bill gives customers easy access to content when and where they want it, even in the absence of traditional payment methods. Adding a frictionless carrier billing experience could be the key to more digital media on mobile and to driving revenue both now and into the future.

Talk to SLA Digital today to find out more about our carrier billing solutions.

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