A VERTIQUL Premium Digital Publication Q&A Case Study

Alaska Business Sees its New Digital Edition as a ‘Differentiating Factor’ in the Market

Page-flip digital editions are still widely used throughout the magazine industry, a recent survey suggested, but publishers are increasingly diversifying to new digital-delivery products in an effort to better serve readers and expand their audiences. One such publisher, Alaska Business, offers a compelling case study that illustrates the trend. 

The brand, based in Anchorage, has been in business since 1984, and has a print circulation of 13,000 readers and a total print monthly reach of 68,000. The website gets over 25,000 monthly visitors, up 25% year over year and still growing, and the premium digital edition has received over 44,216 unique readers through mid November this year. The innovative new digital publication has achieved 20% growth at 4200 readers per month over the previous 3500 average monthly readers.   

Alaska Business has published a replica edition for some time. But it revamped that approach in October 2018, when it rolled out a new digital edition produced by VERTIQUL, the flagship product of the California-based digital media consulting agency Advontemedia. VERTIQUL seeks a redefinition of the digital magazine. Instead of a low engagement, low-value product intended to prop up declining print circulation, VERTIQUL uses a scroll-based multiplatform approach that integrates with a brand’s full lineup, and ultimately emerges as an anchor product, with features that neither websites nor print offer.  

Alaska Business General Manager Jason Martin says the catalyst for launching with VERTIQUL had two components. On the tactical level, the magazine wanted to diversify its product offerings and develop an additional revenue stream for the future. On the strategic level, Martin says, the objective is “future-proofing our print edition to prepare for the evolution of print.”

Advertising and Audience Performance Metric - Time Spent Increase Case Study Data

Martin and Alaska Business Vice President of Sales and Marketing Charles Bell also believe having the VERTIQUL edition is a differentiating factor, allowing the brand to offer a high-end, cutting-edge product that is visually appealing and not common in its marketplace.  

“The visual appeal, ease of use, finger-scroll viewing and enhanced pages—these all are elements of VERTIQUL that are important to us,” says Bell. 

Alaska Business continues to use a page-flip replica edition, which receives around 1,200 reads and around 10,000 impressions per month. This number has actually increased since moving to VERTIQUL, Martin says. “We attribute this increase to more digital awareness that the VERTIQUL platform has created,” he says. “But our replica edition is always a month behind our print and VERTIQUL editions. We do this to keep the print and VERTIQUL editions at the forefront of our reader’s minds and also making the print and VERTIQUL editions more desirable to readers.”

Digital Stats - Audience Growth Case Study Results

It’s a year into Alaska Business’s switch to VERTIQUL, and within the last six months the brand has seen a 65% increase in pageviews, a 51% increase in unique pageviews and a 45% increase in the average time spent on a page. As of October 2019, the VERTIQUL edition has over four times the number of readers over the flip edition. “Reader response has been positive about the new VERTIQUL edition and the modern look at our long-standing brand,” Martin says.

Going forward, a readership survey is planned to develop a better understanding of reader response to digital delivery and to the VERTIQUL solution advantages in terms of accessibility and time spent as a key performance factor when measuring engagement with digital readers. 

Advertisers, for their part, have had a similarly positive reaction, says Bell. “Having advertising that is enhanced for digital provides a more immersive experience for the reader, and those that have seen their ads in the VERTIQUL edition have all been positive about their insertions,” he says. 

Monetization on both the audience side and in advertising is a key goal for 2020. “Advontemedia is creating a VERTIQUL media kit that will visually illustrate how enhanced digital ads can work and appear, which will allow us to present them to advertisers and upsell,” Bell says. “For 2020, we’d like to start to utilize the capabilities of enhanced ads and also incorporate video elements.”

Top HTML5 Responsive Reader UX Results

Experience the excellent responsive/html5 UX digital magazine edition solution in the live scrollable (no page turning or conversion clutter) issue above.

To learn more about Alaska Business’s success with VERTIQUL, and to discuss your own publishing business strategy with the association media and digital magazine publishing tool itself, you may schedule a conversation with the solution provider President David Blankenship.  David will provide specific conversion upgrade options including advertising revenue and digital delivery audience growth capabilities specific to your organization’s digital publication goals and a significantly improved publication reading experience for your members or subscribers.


Digital Magazine Publishing Solution Contact:
David Blankenship
Founder & President VERTIQUL by Advontemedia

Or call the VERTIQUL Office located in California at 1-951-256-4944

2020 Digital Publishing Insights – Solution Case Study Series

VERTIQUL is a fully managed and produced digital edition software service platform for magazine publisher and association media publications converted to responsive html5 from print layout InDesign and PDF files. No flip book apps to download, no flipping pages, and every issue is beautiful on any screen and mobile device.  Learn More and View live Examples: https://vertiqul.com