Mobile apps are a convenient channel that bring content straight to your readers’ tablets and mobile devices. Therefore, it would seem to be the most obvious option to sell your content through online marketplaces like Apple Store, Google Play and Amazon. Millions and millions of readers browse these marketplaces every day and your magazine could strongly benefit from this potential.
Sure, all of these stores will keep a percentage of your sales, usually 30 – 40%. But this cost is something publishers selling print copies are very familiar with and is a fair deal considering the potential of readers these marketplaces can bring you.
Of course there is also a downside to selling your content through popular online stores. Some experts, such as David Hicks, argue that large app stores have become very inconvenient for users to find what they want. Having your magazine app sit next to the thousands of other apps available makes it hard to stand out.
Another issue is that publishers get no data about who bought their product as the buyers’ database is owned by, for example, Apple and not you. So all this valuable data which could be a big help in the marketing strategy of your digital magazine is not available to you. And you need this knowledge to increase revenue.
Your own store
Selling your digital magazines on your own site is a great way to build your audience and grow a stronger brand, rather than depending solely on third party marketplaces.
Furthermore, you retain 100% of the revenue and own the customers’ data.
For strong brands that users look for it makes much more sense to offer access to their content directly from the website they control.
Another benefit of managing your own store is the ability to be flexible about which selling strategy to employ. Selling single copies and subscriptions, offering membership access to all your current and past issues, all of this is achievable through your own website.