Friday, November 4, 2011

Time Inc. release tablet editions for Golf Magazine for the iPad, NOOK Color and 'select Android devices'

Time Inc., which has promised that all their magazine titles will eventually have tablet editions, has released today apps for Golf Magazine. The app (iPad app here, Android has yet to appear) is free to download and provides print subscribers with the opportunity to sign into their accounts to access issues free of charge.
The iPad app does not support Newsstand, and does not offer a chance for readers to subscribe, so its appeal is intentionally (and oddly) limited.

"We are embracing a variety of exciting new platforms to showcase our content on and are delighted with the many benefits of viewing our monthly issue on tablet devices,” David Clarke, Editor of Golf Magazine said in the app announcement. “You can expect a number of exclusives for tablet users as our editorial team works to optimize the assets of this new technology, which will enhance all areas of the magazine.”

Although the press release sent out for this new app says that individual issues can be bought for $4.99, both the app description, and inside the app itself, says that issues are $3.99. The only issue currently available is the new December issue with Irish golfer Rory McIlroy featured.

There is a "preview" available through the app, but it consists of only one page of the magazine, and is hardly enough of a marketing tool to drive sales – definitely a lost opportunity on the part of the publisher.

I could not find the Android version of this app in the Android Market, though one assumes that it will appear soon. The problem of Android platform fragmentation is best exemplified by the fact that Time Inc. had to spell out that the Android app was for "select Android devices". When the Kindle Fire launches in about a week and a half, this platform fragmentation will only grow larger.