Monday, April 1, 2013

Tablet publishing updates: Focus Publishing launches new tablet magazine for photographer; Al Jazeera launches new tablet magazine targeting the Balkans

There were a number of new tablet-only magazines released inside the Apple Newsstand this weekend, both coming from media companies that appear to be enthusiastic about launching new digital publications that are native in design.

Focus Publishing, which in early March launched a new tablet-only magazine under its own name called Exposures, followed up on a promise it made to continue launching tablet editions. These new projects would be digital magazines for individual photographers, each showcasing their work in a format that can make photography shine.

Silver Mag was launched this weekend into the Apple Newsstand and focuses on the work of art photographer Mikhail Kudish. Single issues are priced at $4.99, while a bi-monthly subscription costs $2.99 and an annual subscription (6 issues) costs $19.99 (yes, it appears that the bi-monthly rate is the one to buy).

David Spivak, the president and publisher of Focus Publishing, told me last month that he had four such project in the works. This appears to be the first to make it into the Newsstand.

We're launching a new service, working with a third party app development software, and this new service is going to allow us to create fine art photography magazines for other photographers," Spivak told me last month. "The photographer gets to showcase their work in a way that also allows them to earn a different source of revenue, a different source of income. To do this before digital media was completely impossible,"

Initially Focus Publishing was producing a tablet edition using the MagazineCloner solution, but they moved to the Adobe DPS to get the results they desire.

The broadcaster Al Jazeera, which in January of this year acquired the American channel Current TV, has launched a new tablet magazine, Al Jazeera Balkans Magazine.

This is the fourth universal app that the company has launched into the Apple Newsstand. In August of last year the company launched a magazine app for the iPad called Al Jazeera English Magazine. A few months later Al Jazeera Network updated the magazine app to add in iPhone support. The English language tablet magazine has received near universal praise by readers inside the App Store.

"I think the inspiration for it really is one, we have a huge amount of content, which can marry very well into the magazine format, because we have an enormous amount of depth and analysis and features, and video content and infographics etc." Will Thorne, the then acting head of online told Rachel McAthy of last year.

"So there's a lot of good stuff that we can harness and use in a magazine format that was probably not getting the sort of airtime or airspace it deserved," Thorne said. "But also there's, I think, just a way things have gone with the iPad. It's such a good platform for digital magazines, it works so well in that format, it just seemed like an obvious thing to do, to dive into that market and see what we could produce."

Both the English magazine and the newly released tablet magazine for the Balkans are free of charge to download and access.