This is a controversial issue – and one which I think publishers should really think about urgently. If you have met or spoken to either of us, or even had a casual discussion with a UX (User Experience) professional, you will soon hear the language describing the PDF experience degenerate into a tirade of 4 letter expletives. And with good reason. It’s not that PDF is bad – it has its uses – it’s awesome for printing. But when ported over to the small screen it leaves a bad taste.

So have you ever wondered why this format persists? More than that – why is the humble PDF the dominant format for ePublishers?

The real reason: It’s easy for the publisher to take the end-of-print cycle PDF and simply upload this onto a platform – to ‘tick the box’ in having a digital “strategy”. To claim to advertisers that they too have a digital solution. However, and there really is no nice way to spin this; this is not a digital strategy – and it certainly has no regard for Mobile.

Consider the following:

  • 65% of Media content is consumed on Mobile devices
  • By 2021 > 25% of all advertising spend (all channels!) is expected to be on Mobile
  • Native Apps allow you unparalleled access to the personal real-estate on a person’s smartphone – why waste that opportunity and trust by providing a poor experience.

The most successful ePublishers:

  • Use Native Apps with a natural responsive flow and additional ‘bonus’ content that extends the value proposition of their content.
  • Are near to crossing or have already crossed ‘the tipping point’ – the point at which their digital platforms are higher revenue earners than their print product.
  • Are able to offer fully customisable payment options for their full suite of content channels, and optimise marketing of their material via various platforms – i.e. digital is a product in it’s own right.

Benefits of PDF Apps?

Now that’s not to say that there are not benefits to this format. I can list out a handful below:

  • It providers advertisers an ‘audit’ check, in App form, of where there adverts have appeared
  • Fancy images blended with text and artful presentation of an article – the appearance can be easily maintained through PDF.
  • Reminiscence: ah ‘Member Berry’s’ (for those South Park fans out there). Reading a PDF can trigger fond memories of reading a physical Magazine or Newspaper.
  • ‘Ticking the box’ – as mentioned before – some will take this route simply to say that they have a digital or mobile strategy
  • For larger screen formats, desktop and iPad – the experience isn’t quite as bad (although UX professionals will still argue otherwise).

“But the alternative is expensive | difficult | complicated | all of the above!” This is no longer the case. We have a solution which is not only compelling from a cost perspective, but it also very simple to use. You can effectively outsource your development and tech teams and never worry about such complexities again. Retain 100% of the revenue. Earn from “Article Level Content” All for the cost of a license.

Still unsure? We offer a free trial – with your content – see the difference Reactive content has on your readers, your advertisers, your shareholders.

And why not run both your PDF solution and your Reactive solution side by side?