Readly, the digital magazine newsstand, has delivered a dramatic 147% year-on-year rate of growth for the first half of 2016, clearing over 2.5m issues read.
Between January and June 2016, Readly subscribers opened 2,535,276 issues of UK magazine brands.This is 147% up on the 1 million figure seen in the January to June 2015 period.
Over the same period, digital edition sales as recorded by ABC have jumped by 69% and now account for 3.4% of total copy sales volumes, up from 1.4% in 2015.
Ranj Begley, Readly UK’s Managing Director, said:“The latest ABC figures show that digital editions are beginning to gain more traction after a slow start.Yet the market-beating growth of Readly demonstrates that the newsstand environment, where there is a wide range of titles to choose from,is where consumers seem much more open to the idea of digital reading.This is the place where magazine readers are prepared to be more adventurous and experimental, when normally they are quite conservative and print-based in their magazine consumption.”
Readly is the UK’s leading digital newsstand and has pioneered the all-you-can-read subscription with a monthly fee of £7.99 which gives consumers access to a range of 540 UK magazine brands as well as a growing inventory of over a thousand international titles.
This year has seen four key elements of the Readly strategy coming together to drive its current growth:
- Cutting the consumer price. Having launched in the Spring of 2014 at a monthly subscription rate of £9.99, Readly reduced the price in March 2016 to £7.99.The thinking was to move beyond the core market of magazine enthusiasts into the mainstream entertainment sector and to appeal to consumers who already have subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Spotify, Sky and Amazon Prime.
- Increasing consumer promotion. With a mix of its own promotional activity and some important partnerships, Readly has raised its consumer profile considerably over the last few months.A key partnership has been with Vodafone where Vodafone customers are offered the Readly service and can pay the monthly subscription via their phone bill.Then in June, Readly hit the TV screens with a TV campaign on Channel 4 (view the ad by clicking here).
- Widening the magazine inventory. Hearst UK, The Spectator, Playboy and Porter Magazine have all been recent, high profile gains for Readly as it increases the choice of product for its subscribers.
- Enhancing the user experience of the service. This is in constant development, but recent examples include the ability for subscribers to interact dynamically with puzzles and crosswords, faster and more tailored recommended reads and in-app purchasing for Apple users.
Ranj Begley: “Our four track strategy is really paying off and has been driven by the additional funding we have secured for the business over the last few months.Not only is the size of our subscriber base expanding rapidly, but the profile of our customers is changing too.We have grown beyond the initial core of young, male, tech-savvy “early adopters” into the mainstream consumer marketplace.In the process, we are helping to make digital editions a bigger and more accepted part of the magazine reading landscape.That is undoubtedly good for Readly, but it must also be good for the magazine industry as a whole.”