Media360: The Week's commercial leader talks about adapting to the iPad

It's been six months since Dennis Publishing launched an iPad version of its newsweekly, The Week, and the publisher's head of advertising, David Weeks, shares the challenges and learnings so far.

David Weeks: 'People get the same enjoyment out of The Week app, but in a different way to print'
David Weeks: 'People get the same enjoyment out of The Week app, but in a different way to print'

Weeks admitted Dennis Publishing first designed its own app for The Week based closely around the weekly printed magazine, but went back to the drawing board and a third party specialist after failing to impress a focus group before launch.

The app was then re-designed by Clear Left, a user experience specialist, which placed the focus firmly back on the reader journey and experience. Weeks said: "The biggest thing we learnt is that just making it look the same doesn’t work on the iPad."

Earlier this month, at the PPA's Publishing+ conference, The Week's chief executive Kerin O'Connor detailed how the iPad app for the current affairs magazine has achieved more than 106,000 downloads in the UK. Together with its sponsorship deals and 185,000 downloads in the US, The Week's app is said to be on course to generate more than £500,000 in commercial revenue.

Advertisers already want deep, practical high-value integration

In the second video below, Weeks talks about how the publisher is approaching ad sales for its iPad edition, including plans to experiment with packaging its ad solutions differently. He also warns about the high expectations clients already have for the new platform, despite being in its infancy with a lack of any standard metrics.  

He said: "Whilst this is still new, cutting edge technology, clients have moved already very fast beyond the idea of 'I’ll pay to put my logo here'. They want deep and very practical high value integration."

The cost of advertising in a print ad and a digital edition is said to be "comparable", although Weeks admits the costs of producing ads for the iPad edition is considerably higher - "so you have to put it to work".

Dennis Publishing is also said to be experimenting with tagging ads to better identify which ones are being viewed and for how long.

Videos produced by Georgina Brazier and Sarah Johnson. Follow on Twitter: @BRproducers / Follow Arif Durrani: @DurraniMix

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