by Karl Strom

Starting this month, The Hearing Review and Hearing Review Products are being offered in digital formats—essentially a souped-up e-version of the magazine—in addition to our print magazine. And there are some extremely cool and value-added features that come with this, and I’ll detail a few of these below.

However, before I join the throngs of publishing folks in extolling the virtues of digital publishing (and not just because it significantly reduces costs), allow me to make a couple of admissions and points about print publications—and specifically this magazine. First an admission: I’m not just a fan of print; I’m a fanatic. I buy two newspapers each day (our local paper and our largest state paper) and pour over them as if I’d lost a contact lens somewhere in the text. Our family receives at least a dozen magazines in the mail each month. Angry trees try to whack me with their branches as I pass by. From a professional standpoint and from the perspective of a news junkie who seldom watches TV, I view print as the most effective way to gain an in-depth nuanced understanding of complex subjects. In particular, when reading technical articles, nothing beats print.

From my admittedly biased perspective as an editor and a former business-to-business (b-to-b) marketing manager, I still believe that the best “bang-for-the-buck” media buy for a b-to-b company is, in most cases (and particularly in the hearing industry), an advertisement in a trade magazine. Several respected industry marketing managers will back me up on this. Nowhere else can you find this magazine’s kind of monthly guaranteed exposure to a professionally engaged, targeted, BPA-audited audience. Want proof? We’ve done third-party studies that show over 80% of our readers have made a purchasing decision during the last year based on an ad they’ve seen in HR—and the study did not even consider editorial content. Want further proof? At considerable expense and effort, a major industry manufacturer is now publishing its own custom magazine that features only its brand of products, articles, and perspectives. I could go on and on citing publishing statistics about the effectiveness of print ads in trade journals, but (ironically) I better get off this subject before my employers chastise me for not extolling the…

New capabilities for the HR/HRP digital editions: Expanded features, a worldwide audience, and Apps for smart phones and notebooks. Seriously, acknowledging the above, there are some practical limitations to print that even I will admit. The most obvious is the expense in printing and mailing a magazine. It’s prohibitively expensive to send HR or HRP to the thousands of hearing care professionals who don’t live in the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, over one-third of our rapidly growing online readership hails from outside North America. Thus, we expect a lot of our readers to benefit from these monthly e-editions in Europe (17% of online visitors), the Pacific Rim (7%), Asia (5%), as well as the rest of the world. Currently, over 14,000 hearing care professionals will receive the new digital edition of the magazine in addition to those 21,000 professionals who get it in the mail.

Also, a relatively small but growing percentage (<10%) of our online visitors are accessing HR via mobile phones and iPads, and, yes, “There will be an App for that” being announced very soon.

And, best of all, from an editorial standpoint, the new digital platform opens up a ton of options and capabilities. Although we’re certain this will be an evolving process, we can envision several additional editorial items that might be “woven into” digital articles and ads, including links, videos, slide-shows, sidebars, extra figures and graphics, and sound files. Some of these will be displayed in this month’s HR and HRP digital editions.

Check it out for yourself. So, I am very excited about our new digital editions’ capabilities and our broadened worldwide circulation. You can access them online by:

  • Downloading this month’s digital edition (from our homepage), or accessing the current editions at the bottom of the page, or accessing all our previous editions in the Hearing Archives (a searchable database).
  • Receiving the digital edition automatically by signing up for it and other e-offerings, like our weekly The Insider e-newsletter, at and/or
  • Waiting for the App available within the next month.