ADD: Distracted Readers Are Having A Tough Time Focusing On iPad Magazines

iPad 2 video showing iTunes

Photo: Apple

You turn on the iPad to read your favourite mag.And a new Groupon coupon pops up, advertising a pair of jeans you’ve been coveting.

And then there’s new email. Something new on iTunes. Netflix. Angry Birds. Oh, right, and then there’s that magazine you were planning on reading.

Readers have more trouble focusing on the iPad editions of magazines than publishers initially predicted, according to a new study conducted by Bonnier, which publishes Popular Science, Parenting, and Ski, and ad agency CP&B, reports AdAge.

“If you sit someone down with a magazine, within seconds they’re researching the products that they could buy,” said Megan Miller, research and development program director at Bonnier. “If they see a snowboard in a snowboarding magazine, they’ll bounce over to Amazon to check the prices on it.”

That’s good news for advertisers. Bad news for publishers, which are trying to figure out the new tablet platform.

Among the study’s findings users see digital magazines as “exploration springboards” and don’t like content that seems like a dead end; they often mistake editorial screens in iPad editions for ads, and the iPad provided an experience outside of just reading the magazine. They were actually “iPadding.”

Bonnier and CP&B plan on applying these results to develop new ad formats for the tablets and get readers to return to the magazines once they’ve sprung off to Amazon or elsewhere. A pilot series of these ads will appear in the Popular Science iPad app late this spring.

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