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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : March 02, 2012

3 Questions with Martini Media: What brands need to know about e-readers

When e-readers first came on the scene a few years ago the selling point was the ability to carry nearly unlimited amounts of content - specifically books - without 'weighing down' a traveler or commuter. That hasn't changed, and yet the growth of e-readers is only now exploding. More from Martini Media on the e-reader trend and how it could impact brands.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: E-readers blew up the 2011 holiday season, both the older versions and devices like Kindle Fire. What is the draw of these mobile devices for consumers?

Michael Goldberg, Director of Marketing Communications, Martini Media: If you ask any bookworm, the idea of not being able to physically touch, feel, or smell a printed book was the only thing keeping everyone from getting an e-reader. But for those that finally took the plunge to the digital side, there was no turning back. E-readers offer everything a bibliophile could ask for - access to their favorite authors and literary masterpieces at the click of a button. Just like the evolution of music from albums to MP3's, e-readers allow someone to purchase a book wherever they are or access their library in an instant. Another advantage of the e-reader is its compact size. You can carry a 1000+ page novel in the palm of your hand. In fact, you can carry that 3 lb. hardcover and 4 of your favorite magazines and not have to worry about how you are going to carry it. This is making it especially attractive for those that love to read when they are traveling - whether on their daily commute or on vacation. And I believe digital subscriptions to magazines and newspapers are the real appeal of the e-reader.

Kristina: As e-readers become more encompassing - including more than reading of books - how will that affect advertisers?

Michael: I believe this will actually benefit advertisers. E-readers are essentially a new, untapped channel like mobile and social before it. The difference is, when users are on e-readers, they are thoroughly engaged and are often not multi-tasking as they would when surfing the web or browsing their mobile device. This gives advertisers the chance to connect with consumers when they have their full attention. Of course, they will need to be smart in how they reach them on this channel; the ads need to be subtle and be very relevant to the content.

Kristina: There are stats about online video showing a 14% ad rate currently and many experts note there could be many more ads served before consumers tire of them. Do you see similar ad opportunities in e-readers? Or do you believe e-reading consumers will have a lower threshold for ads on their devices?

Michael: It really depends where and when a user sees an ad. After someone pays $15 to download a book, they should not have to be subjected to advertising. Book readers are not accustomed to seeing ads in printed books, and it is not a good practice to start doing so now. On the other hand, if advertisers can begin working out sponsorship deals with publishers in turn for readers to download free books, I think people would be much more open to ads. Similar to how readers accept advertising on Web sites for access to free content, the ability to download free books would be a popular choice. Advertisers could have their ad show up every 50-pages or so, which is similar to sponsored pre-roll videos, etc. Of course that could turn the entire publishing industry on its head.

More from Michael and Martini Media on Monday, including his top three tips for beginning to advertising within the e-reader space.

Tags: content, e-reader, e-reader advertising, Martini Media, Michael Goldberg, mobile marketing

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