If you have read my posts over the last year you know that I believe strongly in digital magazines. But early on I predicted that unless digital magazines can be proven to be an effective advertising platform, not just a delivery platform, they will fade into oblivion.

It’s very nice that some consumer magazines now send out digital copies to "enhance" print subscriptions. It’s also very pleasant that more b-to-b magazines send out digital magazines to stretch their BPA audits. But there is no long-term future in this.

The future of digital magazines belongs to content publishers who use them to capture a unique content niche, crawl into it, define it, dominate it, and attract a unique audience to it. Once that audience is established, advertisers will follow. Bravo to the publisher of Avantoure who has done just this.

Here’s an e-mail from publisher Serafima Bogomolova:

Hi Josh,

I agree with everything you have said. I spotted the trend back in 2006 when I launched digital only lifestyle interactive magazine Avantoure (express view, site www.avantoure.com).

I have decided to go digital only because I believed that this is something new, exciting, and I can create a new content, a new magazine on an innovative digital platform. I did not want to do a duplicate of a print magazine because I think it has no future. It has been extremely hard to promote my publication as I am an independent digital publisher. I have spent months and months explaining to potential partners and advertisers all the benefits of digital only. In 2006 and 2007 they remained vaguely interested and did not recognize the potential …

I am very happy that 2008 is a turning point for all innovative digital publishers and I hope advertisers will also understand soon how cool, modern, innovative, effective, and useful digital only magazines and publications are!

Thank you very much for your supportive views on digital.