Monday, February 18, 2013

The Kit: corrections to earlier post on new digital magazine app from the Toronto Star

On January 31 TNM looked at some of the new media apps released into the Canadian App Store including a very nice updated app for The Kit, the fashion and beauty magazine from the Toronto Star. I reported at the time that the "new app for The Kit appears to be replacing a universal app from Texterity that was, no doubt, simply a replica edition." Well, that was not actually correct, and my unfamiliarity with the original app was showing.

Christine Loureiro, editor-in-chief of The Kit, wrote me late Friday to set the record straight.
 photo TheKit-article-Feb-sm_zpsa4824a1a.gif
"The old Kit app, designed by Texterity, was not a replica app," Loureiro wrote. "The Kit, in fact, launched in 2010 as a native digital magazine."

I guess I was confused because the website for The Kit states that a "printed version of The Kit is served up weekly in select copies of the Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald and Montreal Gazette." It turns out that what is meant by this is that The Kit appears in those papers as a feature, not a fully fledged print magazine.

Earlier versions of the digital magazine in its Texterity form can still be seen on The Kit's website, while the newest flipbook is being produced by Uberflip, a Toronto company.

One fascinating thing about the digital magazine is that if it is not, in fact, a replica edition, it means that those ads that appear in the magazine, and give it a hybrid look – that is, print ads as seen in print with reformatted editorial – were sold for the digital magazine exclusively. That's quite an accomplishment, and makes what was already an impressive digital magazine even more impressive in my eyes.

"While The Kit appears as a newsprint feature in several newspapers weekly, there has never been a print edition of the magazine. It is a native interactive magazine. This also means no ads were stripped from the print edition, as no print edition exists," Loureiro wrote.

So there you have it. If you are a newspaper pro looking to launch a digital version of your Sunday magazine, or someone who sees the potential of launching a digital-only magazine from a newspaper title you should check out The Kit. (And, by the way, it is free of charge.)