Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Condé Nast Digital launches its first tablet edition for Lucky Magazine

If I were the editor of Folio: I would have long ago required someone at the magazine to compile spreadsheet of the largest magazines in America and whether they had launched a mobile or tablet edition. Unfortunately, the industry's trade magazine is not exactly a leader in all things mobile or tablet so, of course, they haven't kept up with these things.

It's too bad. Today's launch of the first tablet edition for Lucky Magazine caught me by surprise – surely they already were in the Newsstand, right? But the fashion magazine, with over one million in circulation, just now has gotten its first app edition launched by Condé Nast Digital. It's a good one.
If the launch of Lucky Magazine, the app, surprised me, it looks like it surprised the developers, as well. The app description is pretty short, and there is no real screenshots of the digital magazine to be found (no doubt this will be corrected today, and might even be corrected by the time you read this post).

But don't let the badly written app description fool you, this tablet edition is no quickly done replica affair. The tablet edition for Lucky is contains all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a digital edition designed for the tablet.

The free app opens to an invitation to subscribe or log into your account. It's the first of many dialogue boxes that confront the reader and lure them to subscribe (or at least buy an individual issue).

Subscriptions are priced aggressively, reflecting the aggressive pricing Condé Nast is offering for print: annual subscriptions are priced at $14.99, with a monthly subscription at $1.99. Individual issues can be bought for $3.99.

Once you have bought a subscription, the app, like many others invites you to share your information. My guess is that few readers allow this, so the app them invites you to create an account in order to "access future benefits" – who knows what these might be, something should have been mentioned in the app description. But the idea is clearly to gain more information, and in that regard the publisher is pretty smart.

Downloads are pretty quick and progressive, meaning that the digital edition can be read without the entire issue downloaded.

The issue download does not show the size, but my settings says the latest issue only weighed in at 77 MB. That seems hard to believe because the issue can be read in both portrait and landscape. Additionally, the ad team has made sure that most of the ads contain copy for both portrait and landscape orientations, as well. The ad from MaxMara, for instance, stands out like a sore thumb due to its lack of landscape artwork.

Readers inside the App Store will no doubt give this app very high marks unless there were bugs I did not encounter.