Thursday, May 3, 2012

Retweet: BikeBiz talks to Cycling News HD publisher Richard Schofield about their new tablet edition

Future Publishing has released a very nice new tablet edition for its title CyclingNews. The app edition for the weekly publication is a bright new take on the tablet platform that its iPad owning readers will no doubt brag about.

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New iPad hi-res image here.
The new app comes with the rather long name of Cycling News HD - the weekly road racing magazine, which, I suppose, leaves plenty of options should the publisher decide to launch a new version of the app down the road.

Jonathon Harker of BikeBiz, a British B2B magazine that has its own replica edition iPad app through YUDU Media, conducted an interview with Richard Schofield, Group Publishing Director - Sport and Automotive at Future, for the launch of the new app. That interview, which you can read in full here, talks about the new app and its pricing. I've reproduced an excerpt from the interview below, though I would definitely encourage reading it in full (it's not that long, go ahead).

The Future app re-imagines the publication in tablet form, and so the new natively designed tablet edition is to be read in landscape – which, when you think about it, makes perfect sense for a cycling publication (I suppose a title about unicycles could be read in portrait!).

The app features a sample issue for readers to use to judge the app. Single issues can be purchased for $1.99 (£1.49), while a weekly subscription will cost $0.99 (£0.69) or an annual subscription will cost $42.99 (£29.99).

Below is a short run through the sample issue:





Here is an excerpt from the BikeBiz interview:
Is the iPad format something that has been used in other sectors in Future's portfolio?

Yes and no – we've done lots of page turner replica versions of our magazines that you can download on the Apple Newsstand, but this is the first time in sports that we've done a bespoke magazine for Newsstand.

We've done a couple of others in other sectors, including Guitarist Deluxe which is most of Guitarist magazine but with lots of bespoke content on it – so it's got lots of video content and enhanced graphics and navigation – and we've also done a mag called Tap! which is a magazine about Apps and a bespoke tablet version. But this is the first time we've created something completely from scratch, without a print brand to rely on. And the weekly format is a first for Future as well...


A weekly title is quite an intensive product to produce – will Future be providing extra man power for it?

We've recruited Paul Robson as the editor for the title. He is a huge cycling enthusiast but has always worked at Future on a guitar magazine – Guitar Deluxe in fact, so he has that blend of cycling knowledge and experience of iPad products as well. Some of the columnists and opinion pieces will be written by the CyclingNews.com and Pro Cycling team member and freelancers you'll recognise, but we've also hired a team to produce Cycling News HD...

So there will be bespoke material in the title, it won't just be pooled content?

Definitely not, we've been asked this question lots by the trade – how much of it is new and how much of it is bespoke? It's hard to put a percentage on it but I think it's fair to say that the majority of it is brand new. A lot of the factual stuff will be pulled from Cyclingnews, so race results and reports will come from there, but the opinion, comment and analysis is all new to this product. And a lot of the features and news stories will be produced specifically for this.

Do you see future publishing opportunities mainly being online now? Does online give you something extra that you can't really get from print?

The exciting thing about Apple Newsstand is that it is borderless publishing. You can produce something like this and you don't need to worry about getting a distributor in the US or Australia or wherever. It's available there almost without much effort. And our research shows it's not cannibalising from the people who buy magazines. It's a new market.

There will be more iPad or tablet products from Future. There's nothing we can tell you about at the moment, but we definitely see it as a big opportunity to launch new products quickly and as an opportunity to reach new markets quite quickly.
Thank you again to Jonathon Harker and BikeBiz for allowing TNM to reproduce a portion of the interview above.

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