It remains to be seen whether tablets are the future of publishing or not, but one thing is undeniable - they will be an increasingly important part of the publishing landscap

So it's no surprise that major publishers like Conde Nast have been investing heavily in making sure their publications are available on devices like the iPad.

Now advertisers are starting to reap some of the benefits of that.

As reported by Ad Age, the publisher of magazines like Glamour, Vogue and GQ, is now providing some of its advertisers with data collected from the tablet editions of their magazines.

The metrics provided include the number of paid subscriptions and single-copy sales, the number of readers who opened the issue and how many times they opened it and the amount of time spent reading.

In addition, "Each marketer that pays Conde Nast for a premium ad or at least a hotlink will get even more interesting information: how many readers accessed its individual ad, the total number of times that ad was displayed, the average time readers spent on it, and how all those results compare with the issue's advertising as a whole."

Advertisers, unsurprisingly, are pleased. "It's been a very long two years without a trace," one told Ad Age. "There is no doubt this is not only a good move but the right move."

There's still room for criticism, however. Some advertisers are non-plussed that Conde Nast is only providing data to premium advertisers. The data should be shared with all advertisers, they argue, so that they can create better ads and experiences.

It's a good point: in theory, everybody should benefit when more data is collected and shared with those who have a direct interest in it. So it's not unreasonable to expect that at some point in the future, the data will be shared more freely with non-premium advertisers.

In the meantime, interesting analysis is already emerging. For instance, Conde Nast is seeing that "consumer behavior with digital editions of magazines is very much like their behavior with print editions of magazines, and very much unlike their behaviour with websites".

For obvious reasons, that's encouraging to magazines, many of which have struggled to monetise. The challenge now will be to figure out how to translate this data into dollars.

Patricio Robles

Published 16 March, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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