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 two 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.

Whereas equipment maker Again Faster may have wanted to create a new magazine to promote its brand (see last post), the next two new digital magazines to be found inside the Apple Newsstand are looking to create digital editions of existing print publications, but to make sure they are native in design and navigation.

Bulletin: Christchurch Art Gallery's Magazine is pretty self-explanatory: it is the quarterly magazine of the New Zealand art gallery.

The first issue inside this new Newsstand app weighs in at 249.5 MB, double the size of the magazines seen in part one of this post, but still fairly modest for a digital magazine. The layouts are simple, but very attractive – I'd love to be able to compare the print product with this new digital edition.

The app and its content is free of charge.
 photo EstonianFilm-iPad-cover-sm_zps1ef75d9f.jpg
Estonian Film publishes only twice a year, but now the digital edition will allow the product to reach a much larger audience through the Newsstand.

The first issue found inside the app weighs in at 222 MB, again pretty modest, especially since there is a bit of video here (as you'd expect with a film magazine). Again, because the tablet edition was designed specifically for the iPad, the digital edition is easy to read, navigate and is an enjoyable reading experience. The designer has used a fair amount of native elements (text boxes, etc.) but has not gone crazy with digital magazine production tricks.

One thing that confused me, though, was the use of an icon that reads "Watch Trailers & Other Info" – it generally did not point to a trailer but simply to more information. In a film magazine the reader expects to see trailers but will be disappointed to only find a few here.

The take away from these four new digital editions is that more and more designers are seeing that producing a native designed digital edition is the way to go if you are going to grab the reader's attention inside the Newsstand. Three of the four new digital magazines here do a good job of giving the readers a nice digital magazine, and none went over the top with 500+ MB downloads.

Here is a brief walk-through of the first issue inside the Estonian Film for iPad app: