Qualifying Your Magazine's Tablet Edition
Recent industry surveys indicate that tablets are being enthusiastically embraced as a device to read magazines. AAM has received numerous queries from magazine publishers who want to understand how to qualify and report tablet editions on their AAM statements. Whether your digital edition is viewed on Apple’s iPad, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Samsung’s Galaxy or any other tablet device, the digital edition requirements for AAM purposes remain the same.
This is an overview designed to answer your questions and help you prepare your magazine for a tablet.
As you begin developing your magazine’s tablet edition, we recommend you contact AAM to understand the guidelines for digital editions (see below). If you intend to claim your tablet edition as paid, consider reviewing the edition with your AAM Publisher Relations manager prior to its launch. We do not necessarily need to review a functioning version on a tablet; a demo version is fine. For a list of AAM contacts, visit our website.
Definition of Digital Replica Edition
A digital replica edition must include the print edition’s full editorial content, including photography. In addition, any advertiser appearing in the print edition must have the opportunity to appear in the digital replica edition. The layout may be reformatted to accommodate different delivery devices. The full editorial and advertising content must still be presented in a manner consistent with the print edition.
Here are a few clarifications about the qualification and reporting of digital editions:
- Small Space Advertising – Small-space advertisements displayed in the print edition, including classified ads and those at least one-third of a page or smaller, do not need to be present in the digital edition for the copy to qualify as a replica.
- Additional Advertising – If a consumer magazine is able to secure additional or enhanced advertising, above and beyond what was included in the print edition, the magazine may include that advertising in the digital edition and still report it as a replica.
- Back Copies – Consumer magazines cannot serve back copies to subscribers of the digital edition and qualify that circulation as paid or verified circulation on AAM statements.
Dos and Don'ts of Tablet Digital Editions
- Make sure your advertising content is integrated with your editorial content.
- Take advantage of new technologies and digital platforms to customize your digital edition.
- Ensure that the full print editorial content is included in your replica digital edition.
- Include additive content. Additional advertising, hyperlinks, video, audio and other technologies do not impact your ability to qualify the circulation as replica.
- Make sure you charge at least one cent, net of all considerations, for the digital replica edition if you want to count it as paid circulation on AAM reports.
- Allow your advertisers to swap ads between the print and digital edition. The creative of the ads can change, but if the advertisers are included in the print edition they must also be represented in the digital edition.
- Make sure the subscriber specifically requested that your publication be delivered in a digital format.
- Make sure you have the appropriate documentation available to verify that the subscriber requested digital delivery and payment was made.
- Have your Publisher Relations manager review a prototype or mock-up of your digital edition. Reviews are free and confidential.
- Separate your advertising content from your editorial content by putting it behind a separate tab or otherwise “hiding” it from the consumer.
- Feel like the only digital edition you can produce must be a PDF of your print edition. The new guidelines were specifically revised to allow you to respond to the changing technologies and create replica digital editions that reflect those technologies and still count toward rate base.
- Limit your digital edition advertising to just one sponsor or a few ads. All of your print publication’s advertising must be included in the digital edition to qualify it as replica. If an advertiser opts-out of the digital edition, you can replace that ad with another and you can also sell additional advertising above what is included in the print edition.
- Serve back copies and expect to count them as paid or verified circulation on AAM reports.
- Substitute editorial photos in the digital edition. If you cannot use the same editorial photos in the digital edition as you used in the print edition, you need to review this with AAM.
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