FAQs About Qualifying Consumer Magazine Replica Digital Editions
At its recent meetings, the AAM board of directors made a series of changes to the definition and qualification of a digital replica magazine. Aimed at creating a more constructive environment for magazines to create and promote digital copies, the changes have sparked numerous questions from members seeking further clarification. Outlined below are a few of the more commonly asked questions. For more information, please contact an AAM Publisher Relations manager.
Editorial – Text
- Q: Can publishers remove editorial content that appears more than once in the print edition?
A: Yes, duplicated editorial may be removed from the digital edition provided it appears at least once in the digital edition. For instance, if an article in the print edition contains a subhead quote that already appears in the body of the article, then the subhead may be removed. Similarly, if a quote is pulled out of the article and placed in a call-out box in the print edition, the call-out box may be removed in the digital edition provided the quote is still contained within the article.
- Q: Can titles of articles be updated in the digital edition to reflect additive content?
A: Yes, the title of the article should reflect the content of the article. For example, if an article that appears in the print edition is titled “Top 5 Places to Visit with Young Children,” and the digital edition article includes an additional 15 places, the title of the article should change to “Top 20 Places to Visit with Young Children.” AAM guidelines allow for additive content to appear in the digital edition without affecting its replica status.
- Q: How does AAM take into consideration the print edition’s “activity” pages such as word puzzles, fill in the blank lists, etc.?
A: AAM recognizes that print and digital formats each provide unique functionality. Therefore, print edition activity pages are not required if they will not function on the device.
- Q: What are some examples of editorial content that is required for the replica digital edition?
A: While this is not an all-inclusive list, these are some common examples of what AAM considers editorial content:
- Complete articles
- Photo captions
- Table of contents
- Contact information contained within the article
- Q: Is there any leeway in modifying a publication’s name in the digital replica edition?
A: The basic identity of the digital replica edition must remain the same as the print edition. Therefore the same name, logo and presentation of this information must be consistent between the two editions. A publisher may add phrasing to identify the edition as the digital version without impacting the qualification of the digital replica edition.
- Q: Does the index of articles and corresponding page numbers have to appear in the digital replica in the same fashion as the print edition?
A: A publisher may offer lists of linked articles within the digital edition or reproduce a traditional index with adjusted page numbering.
- Q: If guidelines say all editorial in the print edition must be contained in the replica digital edition, can you give some examples of what can or cannot be changed?
A: A publisher may:
- Abbreviate words or expand on words in the digital edition
- Add to an article with additional information not in the print edition
- Rearrange articles for an easy-to-read flow
A publisher may not:
- Eliminate articles
- Shorten editorial text in the digital replica through elimination of sentences or paragraphs
- Q: If an article contained time sensitive information at the time the print edition was published and updated information is available for the digital edition, can the original article be modified?
A: In order to maintain the digital edition as a replica, the original article must remain as originally published with an editor’s note added to provide the additional updated information.
Editorial – Photos and Design
- Q: What if editorial content is presented via the functionality of the digital device?
A: AAM guidelines allow for publishers to take advantage of digital functionality and present the editorial content using that functionality. For instance, if a photo caption provides statistics in the print edition and the same statistics are presented by clicking on the photo in the digital edition, the digital edition is a replica.
- Q: If a publisher must exchange an editorial photo in the digital edition due to copyright write/royalty restrictions, can it still qualify as a replica?
A: If the photo is of a person, any replacement photo must be of the same person in a similar setting. For example, if a wedding photo of a celebrity is replaced, the replacement must be of a similar wedding photo of the same celebrity, a photo of a sports figure must be of the same sports figure in a similar setting.
If the photo is of an object, any replacement must be of the same object. For example, a replacement photo of a car must be of the same make, model and year of the original, a replacement photo of a house must be of the same house.
If the photo is of a landscape or scenery and the topic of the article is about the specific scenery, then the photo must be of similar scenery. For example, a photo of flowers must be replaced with a photo of similar flowers.
- Q: How does AAM address the page numbering that appears in the print edition for the digital replica edition?
A: AAM does not consider page numbering a requirement of a digital replica edition. Publishers may eliminate page numbering in the digital edition or adjust page numbering without impacting the qualification of a digital replica.
- Q: Does the digital replica edition have to use the same color spectrum as the print edition?
A: A digital replica edition may be in black and white if the device used to view the edition does not support color. Digital replica editions displayed on devices that do support color should be presented in the same color spectrum as the print edition.
- Q: Do photos in a digital edition need the same caption as in the print edition?
A: As long as the consumer is presented with the information contained within the print version’s caption via some alternative manner (i.e., roll over, pop up, etc.), captions are not necessary to satisfy the digital replica criteria.
- Q: Can a text article in the print edition be converted to an audio or video article in the digital edition without the original text?
A: To qualify as a digital replica, the original written text must be provided. Additional content such as audio and video can be included without impacting its qualification.
- Q: How does AAM address advertising headlines that do not appear in the digital edition?
A: Headlines that promote advertising content that do not appear in the digital edition may be eliminated in a replica digital edition. For instance, if an advertiser includes a coupon in the print edition, and the cover of the print edition promotes that coupon (i.e., “Look inside for a valuable store coupon for AAM Gadgets”), but the advertiser eliminates the coupon in their digital edition ad, the front-page promotion of the coupon may be removed.
- Q: Does the presentation of the editorial and advertising content have to be in the same order in the print and digital editions for digital replica qualification?
A: A publisher may take advantage of opportunities to present user-friendly information, but the general flow of the editorial and advertising must be similar. If all advertising is in a separate section of the digital product while it is interspersed in the print edition, the digital edition would be ruled a nonreplica.
- Q: Does the absence of tactile enhancements that may appear in a print edition (i.e., texture enhancements, glossy presentation, scent strips, etc.) affect the digital edition’s replica qualification?
A: Not typically. AAM understands that a screen does not allow for the inclusion of smell and texture. Therefore, enhancements of this nature are not required to be in the digital replica edition.
- Q: Since all advertisers appearing in the print edition must be offered inclusion in the digital replica (with exception of small-space advertisers of one third of a page or less), what are some examples of things that don’t affect the digital replica qualification?
A: Ads may:
- Include enhancements such as sound/video that did not appear in the print edition.
- Include a replacement ad. The advertiser has elected not to use its print ad and uses a digital-only advertisement instead.
- Omit scent strips in the digital replica edition.
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