iPad – Already a Valid Media Platform for B2B?

A couple of weeks ago the media team from Fortune Magazine came in to discuss the launch of their iPad app. During the presentation we played with the device and looked at existing apps from Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine. Both are excellent, very user friendly, highly interactive and offer a very pleasant user experience.

The view was universally held here that this could be another media platform game changer especially effecting print media and for B2B marketing in general. By next week every agency employee will be equipped with an iPad so we can get to know it intimately…but why the enthusiasm?

Well firstly the demographic of the adoption is very interesting. Just Media conducted a LinkedIn poll to assess the early adopter use of this device amongst the hard to reach “C Suite” audience. The results are extremely interesting and can be found here “Just Media iPad Poll”

In Summary 11% of C Suite executives claim to already own one and use it regularly while another 26% say they plan to get one. Pretty impressive stats.

Most interesting is that this skews more heavily towards C Suite executives in enterprise sized companies with adoption already at 27%.

Since other research we have seen to date point to this audience being the most avid consumers of print media and less inclined to consume content via the web, this adoption is even more startling. This perhaps illustrates the iPad’s most interesting feature as a media device – the fact it transcends both digital and print media formats….easily displaying content in a user friendly, portable and relaxed environment that simply is not the case with traditional internet sites on a laptop.

Is this playing out in reality – the answer is yes. Look at this week’s example. Wired has just launched an iPad app.  Apple announced they were naming it, “App of the Week,” on iTunes and, as of yesterday evening, WIRED has had 62,431 paid downloads.

To provide some context to this number, within the first 5 days of being on-sale, the app has sold the equivalent of 76% of Wired’s average monthly newsstand sales. Additionally, based upon Apple’s disclosed sales of iPads, the app was downloaded and installed on roughly 3% of all iPad’s!

According to Mendelsson reaserch 20% of Wired’s print audience is C suite and the publication claims 72% hold a “Management” function it’s not hard to see a consistent pattern emerging here as regards the advantage of planning to use this device for B2B campaigns.

Finally let’s not loose sight of the advertising potential here. Fortune expect to mirror Time’s iPad ad format with up to ten pages of content and three imbedded video’s, all of which play in immaculate real time high quality versions. WSJ’s app shows some additional ad formats that are bold without being too intrusive and again offer nice interactivity. So far the ads are not distracting and the environments are uncluttered. In most cases the initial ad looks like the equivalent print ad which as we know has more impact than standard online banners.

So we have seen the future and it’s obvious that another media sea change is heading our way.

Dick Reed
Just Media, Inc.

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