Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Haymarket Business Media launches unique tablet edition into the Apple Newsstand for its B2B magazine 'Marketing'

The B2B division of Haymarket Media Group, Haymarket Business Media, has launched a new tablet edition for Marketing. The Apple Newsstand app will be selling issues for £4.99, and will offer 3-month subscriptions for £12.99, or a 6-month subscriptions for £25.99. (Print subscribers can log into their accounts to access the digital edition without an additional charge.) For now, though, the May issue inside the app can be accessed free of charge.

The unique tablet edition can be read in landscape or portrait and looks very much like an OnSwipe or Flipboard app when the issue is opened up directly to its tablet of contents. The app edition is definitely taking a different approach to the platform.

I'm a bit torn as to whether I like this approach. But there is so much to like about the thought process behind the app that I think I'll ponder this a bit.

One really nice element of the app is that features adjustable fonts, something many magazine app designers wish for their own tablet editions. Most, nay, almost all tablet editions have fixed layouts with fixed font sizes. It is vital, therefore, that the designer get it right. Newspaper apps like the NYT's iPad edition are RSS driven and can feature adjustable fonts.

The trade off is that the article layouts owe more to web design than good magazine art direction.

The navigation, too, is a bit odd. The first article is actually part of the "Craft" section and so when the reader is done and they swipe they may expect to go to the next article but instead find that they are inside this section of the magazine. The reader then has to return to the Contents page to then get into another article. Once there they find they can swipe to the next feature, and on and on.

The app description does not say why the May issue is free. It's possible, I suppose, that this is actually an error. Normally publishers would want to publicize when they are giving something away for a limited time. (It's good marketing, and all that.) So if it is a mistake, I suggest you download Marketing and check it out yourself before they issue an update that locks you out.

Left: The app for Marketing magazine may come with the longest set of Terms & Conditions ever seen in a digital publication, someone at Haymarket is clearly paranoid; Right: A typical article layout