digital magazine story making the rounds on the Web is about a subject some
publishers dread and media buyers have suspicion: digital magazine open
rates. Napier News asked a few European digital magazines what their open rates were. The admittedly informal query yielded the following:

Four titles had open rates of 11-12 percent
One title had an open rate of 16 percent
One title had an open rate of 19 percent

A media buyer hearing these numbers might conclude that digital editions are useless for advertising.

there’s a huge difference between digital magazines created as replicas
of print magazines for the convenience of readers to archive and search
their print publications and those "designed for digital" publications
created to fight for audiences in competitive online environments.

for digital" publications have much higher open rates, so much so that
many are making their case with advertisers without discussing open

In Europe, the recent ABCe audit for digital only publications makes its core metric copies delivered and opened.
By design, this audit does not mention how many copies/invites are
originally sent out to achieve this. In other words, if an ABCe audit
for digital only magazines confirms a 100,000 monthly circulation, it means 100,000 copies sent are opened by readers
that month. The audit will not share how many copies/invites
were originally sent out to achieve that 100,000 number.  

advertisers are not told how many issues are originally sent out, they
cannot calculate an open rate. I think this is terrific, because it
shifts the question "What is your open
rate?" to "What can we achieve for this advertiser with these delivered
and opened copies of this digital magazine?"

I have not
heard of an audit for digital-only magazines in North America
that verifies open rates. Please post a reply if you know of one.

none exist, I would encourage North American publishers to press their
audit organizations to create an appropriate audit for digital only