Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Magazine Group releases its first iPad edition under its own developer account for Associations Now Magazine

If you want to stay in the custom publishing business you better be able to do what the client wants – and what the client wants today is to be able to reach readers no matter what the platform, whether that is print, web or tablets. Because of this, the Washington DC-based custom publishing firm The Magazine Group is moving ahead with creating tablet editions for its magazine clients.
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Today the company launched the first tablet magazine to appear in Apple's Newsstand under its own developer account, listed as TMG Custom Media. The digital edition is for Associations Now Magazine, the magazine from the ASAE, The Center for Association Leadership. The association represents those who manage trade associations in the U.S. and worldwide.

"We're doing a print magazine for them, we're doing a responsive design website, a daily e-newsletter, and the app," Scott Bolgiano, the TMG's driving force behind the new iPad edition, told TNM this afternoon.

Bolgiano's LinkedIn page lists his position as Prepress Manager at TMG, but obviously that role is changing. Inside the newly launched iPad app he is listed credited with App Design & Production.

The first tablet edition of the print magazine uses a hybrid approach where the print ads are pretty much seen as they appeared in print, though with links, while the editorial pages are reformatted for the tablet.
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"We used Mag+," Bolgiano said. "This is actually the newest version of the software that came out the week before last, version 4.0., where they changed up quite a bit of it. And that all came out right when we were about to launch."

The September-October of the magazine available inside the app weighs in at 193.1 MB, a manageable size made modest by the fact that digital edition is meant to be read in portrait only and there is not any additional interactive content beyond links, scrolling text boxes and the like.

This was not the first iPad app built by The Magazine Group. The custom publisher also has released other apps that have appeared under their client's own Apple developer accounts, including one for Web MD.

The app and its content is free of charge to access, as is the app edition for Web MD. The decision of whether to charge or require a log-in is a difficult one for magazines that employ a qualified subscription method in print. So far at least, Apple and publishers have not yet come up with a solution for digital magazines that mimics print.

The Magazine Group now has the ability to create tablet editions for its clients and this new app for Associations Now will no doubt convince other potential clients that the custom publisher will be able to serve their needs.