E-papers: from identical to print editions to enhanced versions

It is the era of the media quintet and, with the arrival of smartwatches, the onset of "at a glance journalism".  Yet, we also see that, indeed, readers tend to like reading their newspaper as an e-paper.  We have seen that preference come up in focus groups.  Those who like to flip through the pages of their printed newspaper on a tablet or other device insist that it keeps them closer to the newspaper reading experience with which they are familiar.

Especially on iPads, e-papers seem to do well.  Those readers of e papers insist, however, that the e paper experience is not enough all by itself.

Now those guys at VisioLink, the Danish firm that brings many titles to e papers, has done some research that reveals what readers of e-papers truly want.

"The importance of the e-paper on smartphones, tablets and pc’s is still growing in importance for the reader base, meaning a transition of paper readers to digital readers is also happening in this reader segment,  " says Lars Ørhøj , Chief Marketing Officer for VisioLink.

For those who may not be familiar with e-papers: they are a replica of the printed edition of the newspaper, but accessible through digital platforms.  In some cases, enhancements are available, such as watching a video where a photo originally appear, or being able to engage with links.  But, to date, the power of e-papers has been the familiarity they allow for traditional readers making inroads in the world of digital.

That seems to be changing slightly according to the latest VisioLink research, where the "parallel" or "identical" layout of e-papers with their printed versions does not appear to be so important.

Here is the conclusion of the VisioLink research team:


E-paper    and    the    printed    newspaper    an    important    factor. However,    between    our    benchmark    periods    there    also    seems    to    be    indications  that    the    dominant    design    of    the    traditional    newspaper    is    experiencing    a    slight    opposition as    24%    (up    from    11%)    of    respondents    now    regard    the    resemblance    unimportant. It    is    our    clear    perception,    that this    slight    recession    owes    credit    to    the    readers’    gradual    exposure    to    new digital    features    in    the    Epaper.    By    gradually    gaining    acceptance    of new,    sophisticated    features,    the    Epaper    is    slowly    changing    the    way    readers    associate    with    the    news    consumption    situation.    This    might    serve as    an    early premonition    to    the    impending transformation of    the    dominant    design of    the    E-paper.

The Survey and The Findings

In both 2014 and 2015 Visiolab (the Business Intelligence and consulting unit of Visiolnk) conducted extensive user surveys that aimed to track important behavior and preference tendencies among e-paper readers. The survey included readers of e-papers of nine newspapers in six European countries.

Among the findings:

1. The  printed  newspaper’s format  is still deeply  embedded  in the  reader’s association  with  news    consumption,  and for this reason the    development    of    new,  sophisticated  designs  have  been  met  with resistance  among  readers,  in  spite  of  their ease  of  navigation, enhanced    connectedness or general superiority.

2. The    stability of  reading motivates readers.   When asked what motivates their use of the e-paper, there appears to be a broad consensus among respondents that points towards the constant availability of news through its digital distribution. Armed with a tablet, a smartphone or a laptop, anyone can now receive daily updates from their favorite news provider anywhere in the world. As can be inferred from the graph below, there has been close to no deviation in the profound appreciation of availability among readers between our two benchmarking periods.

3. Assessment  of  the  e-paper’s design.  Although e-paper readers are experiencing recurrent adjustments to their e-paper design in the shape of improvements and feature implementations, they have grown to appreciate the accompanying expansion of possibilities.

4. Varying    ads    preferences.  The revenue from advertisements nowadays is a necessity for the survival of news providers. However, when the topic of ads appears to respondents a profound sense of skepticism occurs with many. Most of them have learned to accept their presence as a necessity of the better pricing of the e-paper, while others openly express their disdain.

Copenhagen Worshop

E-papers will be part of the subject for a one-day conference devoted to digital storytelling.  Sponsored by VisioLink, the June 8 workshop will attract participants from several countries.

For more information:



Coming Up

Not only is the Latin music in these albums fantastic, but the design is also superb.  Now you can have a look at the wonderful world of Latin music album cover design.

Following on the footsteps of Mara Catalan’s photo show, Picture Farm Gallery continues on the theme of neighborhood archivism, presenting Pablo Yglesias’ “Visual Clave : 50 Years of Latin Album Cover Design.” In partnership with the Bronx Music Heritage Center, PF Gallery will be displaying the visual references and groundbreaking compositions that defined the look and feel of Salsa music, a distinctly Nuyorican creation with origins in our own neighborhood of Williamsurg, Brooklyn.

For more:


TheMarioBlog post # 1765
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