When looking at the publishing industry, it’s clear that digitalization in the past several decades has completely transformed the products that we are producing. In fact, the wide variety of digital and print products for the book industry led to double-digit growth in 2021 that shows just how well the industry is thriving. Magazines have also seen a large growth in digital readership since 2019, which we’ve seen through an uptick in digital subscriptions with ZINIO, a Naviga company.
As we continue to move into the future, technologies will continue to change and advance. Today’s consumers will find themselves eager for a different type of digital content – one that includes interactive content that enables them to experience books and magazines in a whole new way.
Taking Your Readers Into the World of Your Publication
When you read a book today, you are met with a standard format of text and still images. But imagine if you could delve into the content you are reading about and engage with it.
There are many ways that this can be done. Interactive content is any type of material that conveys its message by encouraging user participation. Publishers can decide on the type of interaction based on the presentation, the target audience, and the desired outcome. Some examples of interactive content include:
- Interactive Images
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Popups with Additional Facts
- “Buy Now” Buttons
Providing a New Type of Learning Environment
One place that interactive content will reign supreme is in educational materials.
A history text could share an audio file of George Washington’s resignation speech or share a navigable map to walk through the key areas of the Battle of Yorktown battlefield with popups explaining important details.
A math book could include interactive times tables or videos that walk step-by-step through algebraic formulas.
A science textbook could include a video covering laboratory safety, as well as an accompanying quiz that tests them on what they have learned in the chapter (ex. What is the best way to smell the odor of a chemical?)
The Challenges of Building Interactive Content into Your Publication
We’ve spoken with several publishers who are looking to add interactive content to their roadmaps. We’ve also spoken to authors who see the benefit of it as well. Both need a technology solution that helps them work around the challenges that pop up when looking to adopt this new strategy.
Interactive content is more expensive than what is available today, because it requires publishers to bring in additional resources to create videos, animations, etc. To see a return on investment, publishers will need to promote to their readers and take their feedback into consideration to make improvements in the future.
The Benefits of Interactive Content
One of the key benefits to using interactive content is consumer engagement. It allows publishers to create a better consumer experience, strengthening their relationship with readers and increasing their engagement.
There is also potential for an increased or premium revenue service. Publishers could charge premium prices for interactive content to help offset the costs of creating it, or even include “Buy Now” or “Shop this Item” buttons in magazines – perhaps where the publication gets a percentage of every purchase made through that button.
The Future of Digital Interactive Content
With interactive content and Web 3.0 on the way, digital content will change even further as books become available in the Metaverse and beyond. INNOVATE Gaming & Esports has already launched the first fully interactive 3D NFT book on Opensea, with plans for additional NFT books in the works.
The future of publishing is here – and digital interactive content will only grow as technologies continue to evolve. Interested in learning more? Watch our OnDemand webinar, Digital Interactive Content for Publishers, and learn how publishers are already starting to think about interactive content.