Monday, November 12, 2012

MPV Magazine: a natively designed national sports tablet magazine exclusively for the iPad

Regional  digital sports publisher,, in late October launched its first tablet magazine effort – and rather than stay regionally focused has taken their sports coverage nationally.

MVP Magazine is a natively designed tablet magazine for the iPad. Ron Matejko is the president and editor of the new digital magazine, while Dean Norris is listed as Director Business Operations, and is listed as the "seller" on the app (the app can be found under "MVP Media").

The new tablet-only magazine plans on publishing six times a year, and an annual subscription is priced at $5.99, though the first issue inside the app can be downloaded for free (a good idea for a start-up).

The magazine claims to be the "first national sports publication that is developed, designed and created exclusively for the functionality available on the iPad." There are enough qualifiers there that one hesitates to dispute the claim.

The magazine is designed for landscape only reading. Many publishers are choosing to go with one orientation if only to cut down on file size – this first issue is safely under 300MB.

Which orientation to go with is always a tough decision. For me the question has to do with whether a digital magazine will have lots of video or landscape photography, or whether it is designed to be read while doing other activities like cooking or woodworking – all good reasons to go landscape. On the other hand, long form editorial makes a magazine more book-like and is a good argument for portrait.

MVP Magazine is heavy on landscape photography and contains minimal video. Combined with the absence of fancy animations, the digital magazine can remain at a reasonable file size.

Otherwise, the native design allows for scrolling text boxes, slideshows and other native digital publishing techniques that clearly show that this is a magazine designed first and foremost (in this case, exclusively) for the iPad.

The app description links back to the publisher's website, Unfortunately, the website actually appears to be for a previous digital publishing effort, a regional news site for Arizona sports. The last news items seen on the site are from this summer, and there is reference to a non-defunct digital magazine which last published August 2010. That links to a Flash based magazine of sorts.

This is a good reminder that when launching any type of mobile or digital publication it is a good idea to at least have a live landing page ready to go – preferably well in advance as one never knows for sure when the new digital magazine app will make it through Apple's app review team.

Here is a short walk-through the beginning of the premiere issue of MVP Magazine: