Monday, January 28, 2013

Digital magazines: new iPad editions expand the reach of existing print magazines or create new marketing tools for brands, institutions (part one of two)

Four new digital magazines released into the Apple Newsstand today each try and accomplish similar goals of expanding the reach of the publishers by either creating a new digital magazine or else creating a new digital edition of an existing print magazine.

The simplest of the four new launches comes from John Hopkins Digital. JHU Politik is a simple replica of an existing publication. Sihau Li is credited inside the app with being the developer.

The goal here is simply to expand the reach of the publication and the free app with its free content does that. But because it is a replica, the app must depend on pinch-to-zoom to make the text large enough for comfortable reading (though a retina display iPad helps a bit).

A completely different tactic is used by the fitness equipment maker Again Faster with their new app Evolve Magazine.

The app says that the cost to subscribe will be $14.99 per year, though the first issue inside the app is available for free.
 photo Evolve-iPad-cover-sm_zpsdbf35c56.jpg
While JHU Politik was a tiny download due to the size of the issue (only 16 pages) and the fact that it was a replica, here the file size of the first issue is 109.1 MB – still not very large.

The first issue does some interesting things with audio files and also contains some video. But the use of landscape layouts are limited to the photo gallery and the video content, so the file size remains modest.

The goal of Evolve Magazine is the same as that of Red Bulletin, the digital magazine from Red Bull: promote the brand by providing interesting content in the way of a digital magazine for the iPad. Evolve Magazine is somewhat more of a modest effort compared to the digital magazine from the international beverage company, but it does the job of promoting the brand quite well.

Here is a brief walk-through the first issue found inside the new app Evolve Magazine: