Which Format Is Best for Premium Publishing?
I gave a very short presentation today at sfBIG‘s The Big Minute on the topic of reading habits across devices and settings. (If it takes you longer than 80 seconds to read this post, you read slower than I talk!)
Time we spend reading a newspaper’s website, which we tend to do at work on a laptop.
Time we spend, on average, reading a Buzzfeed list, which we also do mostly at work.
Time spent reading that 6000-word Buzzfeed story about Detroit, if we were among the people who read the story on a phone.
Time we spend reading the newspaper, if we get the print version and read it over breakfast.
Time we spend reading the Sunday print newspaper, since — presumably — breakfast on Sunday lasts longer.
Time we spent tuned-in to the last live issue of Pop-Up Magazine, an evening of “performance journalism” that takes place periodically at Davies Symphony Hall on a week-night after work.
So then, I asked, which publishing form-factor is best if the goal is to maximize reading minutes? Is it the Web, smartphones, printed magazines, or maybe live events performed onstage? How about stone tablets??
Actually: Format doesn’t really matter. The relevant factor, it turns out, is where we do our reading. You’ll get the best results, as a publisher, if you reach a reader outside of work — away from the distractions of email, IM, meetings and, well, work. People engage much more deeply with media when they’re at the breakfast table before work, or at night or during the weekend. If you can reach a person during those windows of leisure time, he or she will give you a whole lot more attention.