Will the Buy Button Help Digital Magazines?

Issuu_iconLooking to add value for advertisers, one digital publishing platform is hoping to  push the “buy now” button.

Digital magazines sales have been plagued with a lack of consumer enthusiasm. The predicted digital magazine revolution has failed to materialize, and ad revenue is in a slump.

Publishers are looking for new ways to monetize this lackluster medium and provide more value to their advertisers. Once company thinks they’ve got a solution.

“Eight-year-old digital publishing platform Issuu released a new tool for in-publication shopping, the company announced Wednesday,” writes Kerry Flynn in International Business Times. “The system now integrates clickable links on top of digital pages that direct to third-party sites like Amazon, Etsy and eBay.”

In other words, every bit of content in a digital edition – editorial and advertising alike – can now become a virtual “buy now” button.

“Every single page can be an interaction whether it’s through commerce or reading a story,” said Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu. “This enthusiast and passion-oriented content is engaging. It’s absolutely the way to transform publishing.”

We applaud his enthusiasm, but have to wonder if adding yet another layer of marketing on top of the existing ads is really the way to transform publishing.

“What we’re doing is providing access to commerce. Publishers can set up they’re [sic] own relationships,” said Hyrkin of issuu.

Publishers should indeed be wary of their own relationships, with advertisers of course but especially with their readers. If people aren’t really enjoying digital magazines the way the industry hoped they would, will throwing more ads at the problem fix it? Not likely.