Is Next Issue Good for Canadians?

Is Next Issue Good for Canadians?

If you live in Canada and watch television, undoubtedly you might have seen the Next Issue advertisements. The premise of their campaign is trying to convince you that physical magazines take up a lot of room. It makes it unsuitable for reading at home, or on the go. So the question is, is Next Issue viable for Canadians wanting to read digitally?

Next Issue has over 100 digital magazines in their catalog and offers a free one month subscription. Afterwards, it costs $9.99 a month to read as much as you want. Well, there is a catch, you don’t get People, Hello! Canada, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Maclean’s, or Time unless you pong up $14.99 a month.

If you like content, Next Issue has you covered. They have established relationships with most of the leading publishers. This includes Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers and Time. For your average reader, they have most of the mainstream magazines, such as Wired, Popular Mechanics, Bloomberg, Entertainment Weekly, Fast Company, Macleans, People, and Vogue.

Canadians do have access to a fair amount of content, but Next Issue is heavily skewed towards the very mainstream. There are no magazines from major publishers in England, such as Imagine. Basically, there is hardly any international representation in the overall catalog. Instead, you mainly have stuff printed and published in Canada and the US only. I am a big fan of Games TM, Vice, T3 and other tech magazines, sadly there is none of these.

If you are using the Next Issue app for Android or iOS you normally pick and choose what issues you want to subscribe to, and they download to your device. Each one is around 100MB in size, and this warrants monitoring of space limits. Most people have the 16GB iPad or iPhone, and a few months of storing magazines could really take up a ton of space.

There are some very noticeable drawbacks when using their app. New issues don’t download automatically unless the app is open. If you have many downloading at once, they take a long time to complete.

When it comes to reading digital magazines in Canada, we are somewhat limited to who offers them and what type of deals they offer. Amazon, Apple and Kobo all sell individual magazines directly and have way more content than Next Issue. There are also companies like Magster, PressReader and Zinio that all offer subscription plans. These three companies all have larger catalogs than Next Issue. Zinio allows you subscribe to 3 magazines a month, with their ZPass program, while PressReader allows you to subscribe to them all, and puts a heavily emphasis on international magazines from over 80 countries.

Most Canadians just want to read the popular and mainstream magazines and Next Issue may make sense. The price is low enough, that you can read as many as you want, without having to pay for them individually. If you like to read magazines in other languages and from other countries, avoid it.

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Is Next Issue Good for Canadians?

Digital News Adoption Rate Doubles with the Growth of Tablets

Digital News Adoption Rate Doubles with the Growth of Tablets

When it comes to reading traditional newspapers or websites that specialize in news, customers are increasingly using more than one device and the overall adoption rate has doubled in the last year. Digital news is becoming more mobile, more social, and more real-time. This year’s Reuters Survey takes a look at some of the devices people are employing to read news and the countries in which the adoption is most prevalent.

In the last ten months, using tablets to read online news has almost doubled. Weekly online news use has risen from 8% to 16% in the United Kingdom and 13% to 25% in Denmark. All across the board, readers are choosing tablets for the social media and interactive elements that digital brands are starting to provide.

Digital Newspaper subscribers are on the rise. Newspaper subscriptions and purchases remain high in most countries. It is currently strongest in Japan (68%), Italy (59%), and Germany (56%) and lowest in France (39%) and the US (42%).

Digital News Adoption Rate Doubles with the Growth of Tablets

Not only are readers being engaged more on tablets to catch up with their favorite newspaper or website, but most are checking it constantly on their smartphone.  In many countries smartphone users are now in the majority and most of them use these devices to access news every week. Denmark leads the way with 43% weekly news usage from a smartphone. Germany lags with 22%.

One of the most telling trends in readers habits, is the fact they read on more than one device. Gone are the days, where people use a singular medium to consume their news and the vast majority are using two or three devices on a daily or weekly basis. One-third of readers now gets news on at least two devices and 9% use more than three. Some devices are used more heavily for news than others. 85% of computer users say they access news on that device each week, compared with 63% of smartphone users, 60% of tablet users, 54% of smart TV users, and only 17% for the e-reader. The e-Reader numbers are especially telling, because companies tend not to focus on the pure text experience and its not what readers want.

So exactly what devices are customers employing to read digital newspapers the most? In Denmark, Japan, US and UK,  there is a relatively equal split between Apple iPhones and other devices, such as Android and Blackberry. Apple has only a quarter of the market in Germany (26%) and Spain (25%).

Nic Newman of Reuters mentioned “Clearly news brands still matter but a strong name and long heritage is no longer enough. Our data show that there still is a yearning – in an ocean of content – for trusted news across a range of subject areas, but newer brands like Yahoo and the Huffington Post are also proving they can fill that role alongside a raft of specialist providers, blogs, and social media too. Against this background, it is not surprising to see more and more anguished debates around editorial and distribution strategies. Most news organizations are reconfiguring their workflows for the multi-platform age – trying to drive more output to more platforms with the same number (or fewer) journalists. Finding new audiences and revenues is proving more challenging. Some news organizations are looking to exploit niches, others are pushing for scale and paywalls are going up around the world. As ever, success will depend on a combination of clear strategies and a strong understanding of changing audience behaviors. In that respect, we hope this annual survey provides useful and insightful data to help inform the challenges to come.”

Thanks to Titanweb and Titan web’s Youtube for sponsoring this news item.

Digital News Adoption Rate Doubles with the Growth of Tablets

Kobo Launches their Digital Magazine Shop

Kobo Launches their Digital Magazine Shop

At a product launch event in New York City Canadian based Kobo announced their intention of launching a digital magazine store . It took a number of months to work out the logistics and build a store interface on their new line of tablets, but it seems to have paid off. Starting today customers will have the ability to buy hundreds of magazines from major publishers and read them on their PC or via the Arc 7, Arc 7 HD or Kobo Arc 10 HD.

The new magazine store from Kobo offers titles from top publishers including American Media, Bauer Publishing Group, Cond茅 Nast, Hearst Corporation, Time Inc., Mansueto, Rogers Publishing Limited, Reader鈥檚 Digest, and Wenner Media, with more being added every day.

Instead of relying on the traditional pinch and zoom feature to read magazine articles, Kobo has developed their Guided Reading View. 聽It has a simple tap interface that intelligently moves from one column of text to the next. Guided Reading removes the need for toolbars creating a clear interface free from distractions.

Kobo Launches their Digital Magazine Shop

Washington Post: What Would Bezos Do?

Washington Post: What Would Bezos Do?
It’s no secret that newspapers as a whole are on the decline. Some of the longest-standing family-owned outlets in the country have already shuttered their doors, and the ones who are managing to stay afloat are doing so with the help of digitization efforts and an online presence. This characteristic of journalistic publishing made the news this past spring that Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, had purchased the Washington Post all that much more interesting.

The Washington Post has an interesting history in its own right, one that includes the fame of bringing down a US President with its involvement in exposing the Watergate scandal. But according to an article about the paper in the Columbia Journalism Review , the Post has done little else since then to stay on top of the newspaper publishing market.

And that’s supposed to be where Jeff Bezos comes in. The man who built an empire out of selling stuff online did so by sticking to the concept that today’s work is never good enough, so there are those who are anxious to see how that translates into the future for an entity that is built on yesterday’s news.

According to the CJR, Bezos was the one who was approached about buying the paper for the simple reason that he could afford to, and because he had the digital know-how to bring the paper back to some measure of relevance. The owners at the time, an almost century-old family enterprise, knew they had a sinking ship on their hands if they didn’t catch up to what the rest of the digital publishing industry was doing, namely making the switch to digital subscriptions and app-based news opportunities like Press Reader or Zinio.

One of the big obstacles for the Post to overcome will be its narrow focus. Known as a Washington insiders’ look and the top-notch source of news that related to the small world of politics, that model isn’t going to be enough for Bezos. The man who morphed from selling books to publishing books to selling diapers, groceries, and hardware isn’t going to be content with a narrow focus like the Post’s. Fortunately, that focus is already shifting, and the paper is hiring.

One thing is certain, and that if anyone is qualified to bring a publishing outlet–even a journalism outlet–into the future, Bezos is the man to do it. What remains to be seen is whether or not he will cut his losses and close its doors, or if the paper will even resemble its historic ancestors once he’s finished with it.

Washington Post: What Would Bezos Do?

App Review – Magzter Unlimited Magazine Subscription Service

App Review – Magzter Unlimited Magazine Subscription Service

Magzter is one of the largest companies currently operating in the digital magazine subscription service. They currently have 27 million users and 3,000 titles participating in their Gold program, including Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, The Atlantic, Maxim, ESPN The Magazine, Inc., Fast Company, and Men’s Fitness.

The real value behind Magzter is via their Gold tier of access. It costs $7.99 per month and you can read as much as you want, with no limits.

The app itself is very well designed. Its homescreen comprises of featured content the editors have showcased, but you can also checkout international magazines you may not have heard of before or even look at the latest issues that have hit the newsstand.

I think Magzter’s greatest strength is their international catalog of content. They have magazines from all over the world, such as Singapore, India, Japan and Europe. This allows you to have a wide variety of mainstream and independent magazines that you would be unable to find at your local Barnes and Noble or Waterstones.

The one feature that is sure to appeal to most readers is being able to download back issues. If you have a favorite magazine, but have missed the last few publications you can easily download it. When you click on a specific magazine, lets say T3, it shows the most current issue, but also shows the cover art of every issue in the catalog,dating back years. I also dig the fact that Magzter also has a wide selection of graphic novels, comics books and manga. They are the only service that has a deal with VIZ Media, so you can read the latest Shonen Jump.

There are some drawbacks with this app. Performing a search on Vogue, for example, I found editions for five countries were available, but not the US or UK. Other searches showed similar results, without apparent rhyme or reason. Sure, it’ll be due to licensing deals, but there’s no obvious pattern to any of it.

App Review – Magzter Unlimited Magazine Subscription Service

Scholastic Releases “Shoppable” Magazine

Scholastic Releases “Shoppable” Magazine
For the upcoming holiday season, Scholastic is making the gift-giving experience even more streamlined for busy parents. In addition to highlighting the recipients of the 2014 Gold Star Toy Awards in an upcoming edition of its magazine, the creators of the issue have made the magazine “shoppable” in conjunction with ShopAdvisor and Digimarc.

“This holiday season, we are offering parents the best gift guide with an easy shopping experience right off the pages of our magazine.” said Jamie Engel, Vice President and Publisher of Scholastic Parent & Child, in a press release. “Working together with our experienced editors and engaged parent readers, we created a trusted guide of toys that parents can feel good about giving this holiday.”

Parents can now move through the print edition and actually make purchases of the award-winning toys by scanning the watermarks of each product with their smartphones or tablets. Apps made possible by the two collaborators will let parents find out more information on the products, then make their gift purchases immediately.

“Readers of Scholastic Parent & Child magazine look to the publication as a trusted source when it comes to finding the right products for their children,” continued Scott Cooper, CEO of ShopAdvisor. “By shop-enabling their publication across platforms, they are making it simple and natural for readers to act on those recommendations. We are excited to work with Scholastic Parent & Child to introduce this innovative reader service and inspire shopping this holiday season.”

The Gold Star Toy Awards are determined by the editors of Scholastic’s magazine, chosen through thousands of submissions from toy manufacturers and were chosen based on being “innovative and cool; magnetic and engaging for the child; mind-expanding or educational; and an excellent value to the consumer.”

Scholastic Releases “Shoppable” Magazine

Hearst Inks New Deal with Digital Newsstand Magzter

Hearst Inks New Deal with Digital Newsstand Magzter

Magzter is an upstart digital magazine company that is looking to give Zinio and Next Issue a run for their money. In the last few weeks, the company has signed on a number of publications, such as Maxim and Newsweek. Today, Magzter has announced that Hearst has signed on and will contribute all of its U.S. titles, and some of its international ones, onto the platform.

The Digital Magazine company has initiated a number of overtures with major publishers in the US, the world’s biggest consumer of digital content. While publishers are eager for a larger audience, Magzter’s 50-50 revenue sharing plan is the biggest stumbling block here. Magzter is asking for 50 percent of the subscription fees, which is far higher than the 30 percent commision Apple requires. Magzter is eager to trade some vital user statistics in return, which can be hard for the publishers to ignore. What Magzter is willing to divulge is not only how many users are actually reading which magazines, but also the email addresses of those who are reading. Magzter has also stated there are no hidden costs involved at any stage, even if the publishers add more pages or interactive multimedia content to their magazines.

Magzter also boasts of a new automatic magazine uploading system where publishers will just have to upload their magazine only once and the software will render the magazine into the formats of various devices in vogue. Publishers will only have to upload the PDF file (or any other suitable format) into the system and it will be with the subscribers within the next one hour. The entire process is automatic, the patent for which is still pending. This way, users will get to enjoy the favorite magazine no matter if it’s on an iPad or Android tablet.

The company currently offers apps for iOS, Android , and Windows 8. It has offices in India, London, Singapore, and New York, and has been making its way across Asia and Europe. The service now claims about 7 million app downloads from a collection of 1,500 magazines from 600 publishers.

Hearst Inks New Deal with Digital Newsstand Magzter