Monday, July 30, 2012

Baltimore Magazine makes its debut in Apple's Newsstand with a replica edition

While it's name promises more than it delivers, the city/regional monthly Baltimore Magazine has, nonetheless, debuted inside the Apple Newsstand.

The name of the app is Baltimore Magazine+, and usually apps that have a "+" at the end of their name either contain lots of additional interactive material, or else were built using the Mag+ platform. While its possible that the publisher used Mag+ here, it is definitely not true that the app offers any interactivity.
Baltimore Magazine+ is definitely a replica affair*, readable in both portrait and landscape, but basically a PDF of the print edition - complete with left and right page numbers.

For many magazines that contains lots of modular ads (less than full page ads), the choice of going replica seems logical. It would be difficult to get all those small ads into a natively designed tablet edition, though reworking the editorial pages would seem a good solution, if only to improve the reading experience.

The app offers individual issues for $2.99, as well as monthly subscription option for $0.99 and an annual subscription for $9.99.

Although the app description fails to mention it, current print subscribers can log into their accounts in order to access the digital editions.

The app is published under the name of the publisher, Rosebud Entertainment LLC. Both entities are owned by Steve Geppi, the former comic store owner turned distributor. Geppi is also a part owner of the Baltimore Orioles (Peter Angelos heads the ownership group).

*I've been told the app uses the Paperlit platform to create the digital issues.

Left: the library page where back issues are available for free; Middle: the subscription page where current print subscribers can log-in; Right: a typical page where modular ads can be seen.