Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Swarovski updates its digital magazine app Swarovski Elements to add support for Apple's Newsstand

Retail brands have been fairly quick to understand the marketing potential of both the new mobile platforms and tablets. In addition to bringing their catalogs to the devices, other brands have brought their consumer and B2B magazines to the digital platform.
Last week Swarovski AG, the Austrian jewelry and crystal design company, updated its iPad app for SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Magazine to add Newsstand support and subscription services.

The digital magazine itself was launched late last year and an app version was released in April of this year. The magazine is, I would assume, aimed at designers and retailers who would use the line of crystals in their own jewelry creations. Like other B2B magazines, the editorial focuses on those end-users, the designers.

The iPad version of the magazine is interesting in that their is one native tablet design being used, yet the app supports portrait and landscape. The layouts look most natural in portrait, yet may be easier to read in landscape. Font choices, therefore, seem to be a compromise between the small size seen in portrait and the blown up sizes seen in landscape. (The video below shows landscape.)

The app and its issues are free to download and access, of course.

The download for the latest issue is rather slow, and while the September issue can be found online it has yet to appear in the iPad app's library.

The tablet edition and online magazines are identical in content right down to the photographs that can be enlarged with a tap (or click). Since there is no print version of the magazine, the designs are native all the way, which makes the reading experience much better than most magazines converted from an online version.

But research shows pretty clearly that readers are not that fond of online magazines, rating them at the bottom of their choices of platforms. Print is still number one, of course, but eReaders/tablets are the next choice, with phones and PCs bringing up the bottom. Much of the research in this area was conducted early on in the life of tbalets so I'd love to see an update of this type of research, but I think that it is safe to say that anyone currently with an online digital magazine would be silly not to launch a tablet version.