ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Mobile Marketer site for the latest mobile marketing news.

70pc of tablet magazine readers want personalized ads: study

Seventy percent of tablet magazine readers wish that digital magazines included tailored advertising, showing the need for more personalized experiences, according to research from GfK MRI iPanel.

In GfK MRI iPanel?s report, the company surveyed tablet and ereader users and found that although users are interacting with digital magazines, they are somewhat disappointed with their experiences. In addition to content, the report also outlines how the technology behind tablet magazines is affecting consumers.

?People are creatures of habit and many will continue to like what is comfortable, familiar and easy to navigate,? said Anne Marie Kelly, executive vice president of marketing and strategic planning at GfK MRI, New York.

?For publishers this suggests keeping digital magazines simple and standard in look, feel and features,? she said. ?Marketers should be encouraged by consumers? attitudes toward both personalized advertising and ecommerce via tablets. 

"Both have long been the holy grail for the television industry, yet for a variety of reasons neither has come to fruition in a major way. Magazines are at the forefront of something new and exciting that other media, including radio and TV, cannot replicate at the present time.?

 Gfk MRI is part of the GfK Group, a research group that aims to understand how consumers think, act and buy.

Tailored tablets
Seventy percent of tablet and ereader users in the study said they wanted to be able to buy products directly from digital magazine ads, showing the need from publishers and marketers to create interactive ads.

The Gfk MRI study also found that 72 percent of tablet readers who have read a magazine on their mobile device in the past 30 days wish that all digital magazines were formatted in the same way.

The report also found that consumers are interested in reading digital copies of magazines. However, their experience via tablets is not up to par with a printed version.

Sixty-five percent of tablet magazine readers said that they prefer to read a print magazine because of the reader experience, but 67 percent said they would favor a digital magazine over a print version.

Technical issues with digital magazines also created a low-quality reading experience for consumers in the study.

For example, 48 percent of tablet readers said that digital versions take too long to download.

Forty-six percent of tablet readers see a digital version of a magazine as a gimmick, and 43 percent of digital readers say it is tough to search for magazines that they are interested in reading on their devices.

GfK MRI surveyed 26,000 adults in the United States about their media, product and lifestyle habits in the study.

Mobile barrier
The GfK study underlines the challenges that mobile publishers face when creating an interactive magazine.

Based on the study?s findings, it is clear that consumers have a need to interact with digital versions, but they want simple and straightforward editions.

The research is also proof of the role that tablet magazines play for a publisher as middle ground between a print copy and a magazine?s Web site.

Publishers need to view mobile editions as an extension of the brand and offer only a few multimedia extras such as commerce-enabled ads, per the research.

?Adult tablet owners appear to want uniformity in magazine formats across digital delivery systems such as apps and electronic newsstands,? Ms. Kelly said.

?This suggests that the look of one?s favorite magazines is an integral part of the reading experience, whether it is in the printed form or electronic,? she said.

?Tablet readers want simplicity over bells and whistles.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York