Monday, August 20, 2012

German publisher Axel Springer launches its first mobile and tablet editions for its weekly Sport Bild

There is no doubt that it is easier to publish a tablet edition if your publication is a monthly, as opposed to either a daily or weekly. That is why most daily newspapers have chosen to either go the replica edition route, or else build apps that take the content directly from the publication's website.

The German publisher Axel Springer, therefore, had a dilemma when creating its first native app for its weekly sports publications Sport Bild.
This morning SPORT BILD + is making its debut in both the Apple App Store and Google Play (the App Store link is to the US store, the Google Play link goes to the German store, just to mix things up for you).

The app description warns readers, in German, that because the tablet and mobile editions (the iOS version is universal) contains added photographs and other interactive materials, the download will be a bit slow. I encountered a few other issues such as buttons that stubbornly wouldn't work.

The app description also tells readers that the new digital issues will be available after the last Bundesliga game is played on Sunday (the Bundesliga is the German soccer league, of course). That means that the digital edition is going to be quite different than the print edition.

The plan appears to be to sell the new digital edition separately from the print edition, with a special discount available if print readers would like the digital edition, as well. It's a good idea that I wish more publishers would pursue. By thinking of its digital edition as a new product the publisher can begin to think about their publication freshly. A new digital product opens up new revenue streams, and if necessary, the publisher can always change their minds and offer up the new digital edition for free to print subscribers at a later date.