Backpacker iPad Subscriptions Surge; Reader Satisfaction at 96%

Interactive tablet editions reach younger, more affluent demographic

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CONTACT: Anthony Cerretani

Digital Director, BACKPACKER Magazine


Boulder, CO: Active Interest Media’s Outdoor Group today reported on the success of BACKPACKER magazine’s interactive editions, now available on the iPad. With the recent launch of the March Adventure Travel issue, subscriptions have surged sixfold since October and user enthusiasm is at an all-time high.

“We’ve seen an amazing response,” said Digital Director Anthony Cerretani. “In a survey of iPad subscribers, 96% say they would recommend our editions to a friend. For a magazine that prides itself on service and innovation, there’s really no higher praise.” Research also indicates that BACKPACKER’s iPad editions are bringing in a younger and more affluent readership than the print magazine, with an average age of 41 and household income of $107,337.

Under the leadership of Cerretani, Outdoor Group Creative Director Matthew Bates, and group vice president Jonathan Dorn, BACKPACKER has created digital issues that emphasize interactive maps, expanded gear content, and multimedia-rich destination content—the core areas of interest for this readership. Leveraging the magazine’s rich video, photo, and GPS archives, plus a database of 5,000 user-generated trip reports, the editions are anchored in ground-truthed service journalism and a design that’s specific to the iPad.

“We’re creating hyper-integrated stories that deliver more complete and multilayered service than ever before,” said Bates. “But our tablet design is also enabling digital subscribers to enjoy a visceral experience that they don’t get on the printed page. As they tap through a storytelling map loaded with video and audio, it’s almost like they’re on the trail themselves.”

BACKPACKER is producing its tablet editions entirely in-house. “Our editors and readers get out on the trail more than anyone in the business, so they’re our best experts, GPS mappers, and videographers,” said Cerretani. “They’re appearing on every page, starring in videos, offering audio commentary, and adding new content to interactive maps. Same goes for our design staff, which trekked through the Chilean Andes to capture on-location content for our upcoming April edition.”

In the November issue gear editor Kristin Hostetter offers video gear reports from Iceland; senior editor Shannon Davis demonstrates crampon technique; and Cerretani shows how to make an adventure movie in a story, slideshow, and documentary about Machu Picchu. In the December/January Readers’ Choice issue, BACKPACKER recruited more than 50 reader-contributors to map trails, collect GPS data, record audio, test gear, and create touchscreen-specific content.

The March budget adventure travel issue features more than 74 life-list tips and trails, plus interactive maps of New Zealand and Switzerland and more than 25 videos, countless photos, and enhanced travel tips. Stories on Israel and Canada feature author audio commentary, slideshows, and videos, and the touchpoint-powered gear section shows readers how to how to put together a complete TSA-safe backpacking kit.

The iPad editions add to BACKPACKER’s award-winning digital repertoire. In 2011, the magazine was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year, the industry’s highest honor.

A yearly iPad subscription can be purchased for $14.99 per year or $1.99 per month on the iTunes App Store. Single copy issues are $3.99.

BACKPACKER on the iTunes App Store

About Active Interest Media, Inc.

Based in El Segundo, California, Active Interest Media, Inc. (AIM) is a leading publisher of enthusiast magazines, consumer shows, books and Internet sites. AIM’s five publishing groups include Healthy Living, Marine, Home Buyer, Outdoor and the Equine Group. The company publishes 35 magazines, including Yoga Journal, Backpacker, Vegetarian Times, SNEWS, American Cowboy, Log Home Living, Arts & Crafts Homes, Peaks, Dressage, Black Belt, Yachts International, and others.

AIM produces and markets conferences, DVDs and books, and produces log-and-timber home shows and seminars. The company also produces the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show®, the largest boat show in the world.

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