Friday, April 13, 2012

Magazine apps using native design approach begin to dominate the News category sales charts

One could interpret the "Top Charts" in the App Store many different ways, but one thing is becoming clear: over time, media apps that are using native digital publishing solutions are dominating the charts.

As of this morning, the Top Free App and Top Grossing are dominated by apps that have using a digital publishing platform that allows for native tablet design rather than merely trying to replicate the look and feel of print.

But one should probably not go to far with this. TNM, from day one, has been an advocate of approaching each platform on its own, and for designing specifically for that platform. But this morning, one sees that the major publishers are dominating the charts – those companies are less constrained, let us say, in their production choices.
Whole Living Magazine, the recently released tablet edition from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia made its chart debut today in the number three position.

Most, though not all, the magazine or newspaper apps seen in the top ten charts have recently been undated to accommodate the higher resolution specs of the new iPad. A notable exception is Condé Nast's Bon Appetit, which was last updated on February 14. But Condé Nast has been issuing 'retina' updates for its magazine apps, with Vanity Fair and Glamour updated just yesterday.

This all appears to be good news for the big guys, and is evidence to justify their investments made in tablet publishing. But for independent publishers, hoping the App Store would not become yet another newsstand dominated by the big boys, this morning's charts can't be seen as a good sign. Marketing within the App Store remains a major issue for all publishers, but most especially for those trying to establish their new brands.