Thursday, January 31, 2013

Inside the Canadian App Store: Newsstand apps from Rogers Publishing get marketing support from Apple; Toronto Star releases new digital edition for 'The Kit'

Canadian owners of iOS devices who peruse the iTunes App Store for more newspapers and magazines to download will find that, in addition to the ongoing Hearst Magazine promotion (Read Them Here First), now Rogers Publishing is getting promotional support from Apple.

The promotion is simple enough: a spot on the rotating carousel at the top of the Newsstand category that takes the customer to some of the Canadian publisher's available Newsstand apps. These include Maclean's, Today's Parent, Chatelaine Magazine, MoneySense and others.

The theme of the promotion is "Free Trials + 99¢ Issues" – something obviously offered by all the tablet editions listed in the promotion.

Missing from the promotion are the B2B magazines Canadian Grocer and Marketing Magazines (links to TNM's posts on the B2B apps).

 photo TheKit-iPad-cover-sm_zps65ca2d82.jpg
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited has released an iPad edition for The Kit, its fashion and beauty magazine. The new app for The Kit appears to be replacing a universal app from Texterity that was, no doubt, simply a replica edition.

The new app is definitely not a replica!

The free magazine is exclusively for the iPad and resides inside the Apple Newsstand. The first issue to be found inside the app weighs in at 418 MB, which probably signifies that it uses the Adobe DPS system.

The reason for the large file size of the issue becomes instantly apparent upon opening the issue. The cover does not feature an animation but the app instructions page instantly starts playing a video from editor-in-chief Christine Loureiro showing the basics of digital magazine navigation.

The first ad to be seen in the digital edition also features an instant play video, though subsequent ads seen in the issue are without interactivity. It appears that whatever ads that appeared in the print edition have been pulled, so I would not call this a hybrid edition.

The app is quite a tour-de-force, even containing a page with an Instagram feed (though this seems a bit gimmicky to me).

You can check out a small portion of the app in the walk-through video below:

An app like that new one for The Kit really stands out when you see a publisher taking the easy way out. Mariage Quebec is published by St. Joseph Media, though you wouldn't know this from the new Newsstand app just released. The new app found inside the Newsstand is instead credited to US LLC and is, of course, a replica edition.

As I've said many times before, any publisher who is willing to see their work appear under the name of a vendor rather than their own company name should really consider selling their magazine.