Reading, Writing And Algorithmic Tick: Mags Ask Students To Read Online

The Magazine Publishers of America has decided to reach key demos where they live--online. MPA announced Thursday that the magazine industry has launched a pilot program to supply free one-year electronic magazine subscriptions to selected students at five colleges.

Publishers will send electronic editions of magazine titles to the e-mail inboxes of what the MPA hopes will ultimately be 4,000 to 5,000 students. Potential readers will need to opt-in to receive the subscriptions, which deliver the same text, photos and advertising found in the print editions.

"These are targeted subscriptions, so the title is an appropriate match for the field of study," says Howard Polskin, senior vice president, communications/events at the MPA. "We're trying to emulate what magazines are doing anyway, targeting specific interests like entertainment, fashion and politics."

The five participating schools and the respective magazine titles they will receive are: Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies(Foreign Policy); Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management (Business Week); Parsons The New School for Design (Elle); USC School of Cinema/Television Premiere; University of Notre Dame Computer Science and Engineering Division (Popular Mechanics). Advertisers will not be charged more for the additional subscribers, Polskin says. The additional readers will supply added value to them.

Although there are more than 100 consumer publications available electronically, time and complexity limited the scope of the pilot, Polskin adds. "If the response is strong, this is certainly something we would like to expand."

The electronic editions of the participating magazines were published and delivered in a digital format by Zinio.

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