We recently released what we call our ‘Timed Access’ feature of the MAZ digital publishing platform. It grants any app users to an all access, unrestricted preview of each issue for a duration of time that each publisher chooses. We replaced what was previously a limited page (usually 10 pages or less) less real estate (about 60% of the screen) crippled (no enhancements made with our links tool in MAZControl) preview version of the content.
With every new feature we release comes the responsibility to measure it’s impact on our publishers and their end users. We have to ask meaningful questions: Does the feature increase engagement with publishers apps? Does the feature increase the number of app users? Is there an increase single issue and subscription sales for our publishers? Is there improvement in app download to issue/subscription sales conversion?
When developing Timed Access, we had several goals for it:
1) Improve the conversion rate of app downloads to content downloads.
Since almost all of the MAZ apps are free, and most of the content/subscriptions in the apps cost money, there will always be a contingency of users who download free apps and are then deterred when faced with a pay wall for content. However, if we could increase the rate of conversion from app download to sales for our publishers through our new fully immersive previewing experiences, then we’d consider it a big win. After taking a long hard look at the numbers, we found that there were 60% more content downloads per app download in January (when a overwhelming majority of users had the ‘Timed Access’ version of the apps on their devices) when compared to October (before we released ‘Timed Access’).
2) Create more individual content sales opportunities for our publishers.
At the end of the Timed Access preview period for a given piece of content, we invite the customer to buy the issue for a special price, and in some cases to purchase a discounted subscription. When we crunched the numbers on how this impacted single issue revenue, again from January to October, we saw a 74% increase! I know what you are thinking, that’s too big from just a single feature being released, but rest assured that % increase is adjusted to reflect the number of iOS apps live in the app store. It’s a very real increase, and is resulting in very real dollars being passed along to the majority of our publishers.
3) Increase in subscription revenue for our publishers.
After all, if our publishers aren’t making money, then we aren’t making money. We took a look at the number of digital subscribers month over month prior-to-and-up-to the market saturation of the Timed Access functionality. When we looked at the numbers from January to October, we saw a 12% increase in subscription revenue.
Overall, we couldn’t be more happy with the results of the Timed Access feature being included in all the iOS MAZ apps. It’s features like this that MAZ is proud of bringing to market for our publishers and really driving the standard for digital publishing platforms into the future. It’s always a calculated risk releasing a new and groundbreaking feature, and we are lucky to have some of the best publishers in the world supporting our platform and putting their trust in the MAZ team and our products. Thank you for sharing the risk and the rewards with us, after all our successes are your success and your successes are ours.