Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Magazines for the wealthy are living large; new tablet editions from iMirus bridge worlds of replica and native

Last month at this time I wrote for the first time about an app from iMirus, the digital edition division of Riggs Heinrich Media, Inc. That app for Kent State University proved a pleasant surprise as it took the basic idea of a replica edition and went a bit further to create a tablet edition better suited for the iPad.
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Today the company released a series of new apps for Haute Living and other publishers.

The four magazine apps for Haute Living – Haute Living Miami, Haute Living New York, Haute Living San Francisco, and Haute Living Los Angeles – are all pretty much replica editions, though they are often enhanced. The L.A. book weighs in at just under 100 MB, so the download is fairly quick.

All the apps for the Haute Living titles are free, and the magazines are free to access, as well. That is pretty strange considering the audience being served – if any magazine audience can afford to pony up for a subscription it would be the audience targeted by these magazines. Maybe they can create a charitable fund and begin charging for the magazines, giving away the proceeds to the victims of the financial crisis. (I would suggest a $1 million an issue, but that is only a suggestion.)

The luxury magazine category is the one place that someone can find growth. As more of the nation's wealth gets concentrated into the hands of a smaller group of readers, more luxury magazines are being launched. Bloomberg, for instance, is launching a new book aimed at those making over $450,000 a year (how did they come up with that income number?).

The trouble is, of course, that a millionaire can only read so many magazines. Maybe they can hire more domestic help to read all the new titles being thrown at them?

iMirus also released apps today for Light of Consciousness, Muscle and Body magazine, and NetSuite Magazine (screenshots seen below). Only the magazine Light of Consciousness is charging for access to the issues – spiritual awakening comes at a price, I guess.

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Left: the cover page for NetSuite, which appears strangely cut off to me; Middle: the only real criticism I would have for these apps is that they are memory hogs on an original iPad; Right: an ad with embedded video.

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