January 20, 2011
The most popular aviation magazine in the world is now available in bits and bytes. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) on Thursday, January 20, launched a digital edition of its most popular free member benefit, AOPA Pilot magazine. The digital edition provides, page for page, everything AOPA members have come to expect from the print edition, and much more.
"Over the past several years, our editors have been adding more and more online extras – videos, additional interviews, slide shows, and the like – that readers have been able to access by going to a computer and visiting AOPA Online," said Tom Haines, AOPA senior vice president of media and editor-in-chief of AOPA Pilot. "With the digital edition, readers can access all of that extra material directly from the magazine – something that we think will appeal to a large number of our members.
"But for those who prefer to sit down in an easy chair and flip leisurely through the magazine, they will still be able to," continued Haines. "We will continue to print the magazines and members will have the option to choose the print or electronic edition—or both."
When readers who choose the digital edition open it, they will see the same magazine as their fellow members who choose the print edition – the same layout, the same photos, the same articles. And they’ll be able to "flip" through the pages. But embedded within those pages will be all sorts of extras, such as videos and additional photos that would not fit in the print edition. Other features will include polls, surveys, extended content, links to social networking sites, and more. Members will be able to comment on articles and share articles with others. All internet links included in articles will be "live," so readers can highlight the link and go directly to the web site. And if readers see an ad for a product they’re interested in, in many cases they will be able to simply tap the ad and go directly to the advertiser’s web site.
There is no charge to switch from the print to the digital edition, or for just $10/year, members can receive both. To add or switch to the digital edition, members should visit www.aopa.org/digitaleditions.
Members who wish to continue receiving the print edition do not need to do anything.
In addition, an enhanced digital edition which will be readable on iPad/iPhone, Kindle, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and Android devices is in the works.
"We’ve had requests for a digital edition from some 30,000 members, but we recognize that an electronic magazine is not going to be for everybody," concluded Haines. "Still, for those who make the leap, we think it opens up an amazing realm of possibilities.
"We’re excited about adding the digital edition, and think our readers will be, too."
AOPA Pilot’s sister magazine, Flight Training, will be available as a digital edition early this Spring.
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