Table of contents
8 September 2014
User level: All
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In June 2013, Adobe released a feature for DPS iPad applications called Free Article Preview. Enabling this feature allowed publishers to offer their readers a selection of articles for free. The expectation was this sampling would either entice the reader to purchase the folio or start a subscription. Allowing users to preview a selection of content from each folio also solved another issue - many publishers faced problems in creating a full “sample” issue that would contain outdated content after a period of time.
Over a year later, we have seen many publishers pick and adopt this feature in their apps. Using Adobe Analytics, we can determine that, on an average, 6% of users that preview content proceed to make a purchase.
While it is easy to enable the Free Article Preview experience, one point of contention we have heard from publishers is that it can be difficult for readers to discover which articles have been marked as FREE. One strategy that seems to work well is marking a number of sequential articles as FREE starting with the Cover. The confusion begins when a publisher marks an article as FREE, midway or at the back of the folio. Typically, a reader will swipe through the folio starting with the cover, reading all the free articles in the front. Once the user hits the first Protected article, they will see a paywall and think that their preview is over; when in fact there may be another free article or two elsewhere in the folio.
To facilitate a better user experience in this scenario, we have created the Alternate Free Article Preview Experience. The article below will illustrate the differences between the default article preview and alternate preview experiences.
In the default Article Preview Experience, users landing on a protected or metered article will see the below paywall page. An image of the folio cover along with article metadata is displayed. If the article is published with a metered protection setting, readers will have the option to “Read Article”; thereby using up one of their metered articles count (threshold configurable by publisher).
The Alternate Free Article Preview Experience paywall is designed differently to give readers a way to move across the folio, accessing FREE article content that could be further inside.
Figure 2: Alternate article preview paywall
Additionally, you can access a re-organized table of contents (TOC) from the paywall that shows which articles are free. This view of the TOC applies only in preview mode. Once a reader purchases the folio or subscribes, the TOC will return to the original order.
To add the alternate free article preview experience to your app, follow the steps below:
- Make sure you application is enabled for Free Article Preview - Enable the feature in the DPS application account configuration portal.
- Use the sample file included in this article (above) or paste the below text into a document named custom_config.xml.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>generalSettings</key> <dict> <key>articlePreviewExperienceVersion</key> <integer>2</integer> <key>gotoNextFreeArticleIncludesAds</key> <true/> </dict> </dict> </plist>
- Include this custom_config.xml file in your Offline Entitlement Banner .zip file.
Figure 4: Contents of offline entitlement banner .zip file
- Re-load the offline banner in App Builder.
Figure 5: Specifying the offline banner in App Builder
- The Alternate Free Article Preview experience does not give readers the option to select and read articles that are marked as Metered. In the alternate experience, Metered articles are treated as Protected.
- The Alternate Free Article Preview experience is designed to work with iOS 7 and above. iOS 6 readers will see the default article preview experience.
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