Downloading the first digital edition of Chilled for the iPad one anticipates that the digital edition will be a native tablet edition as the file is over 150 MB in size. But opening the first inside the new Apple Newsstand app one immediately sees a two-page ad spread over two tablet pages, typical of a replica edition.
What the reader gets, though, is a hybrid edition: a digital magazine where the print ads are reproduced exactly as in the print magazine, mostly without any enhancements, and the editorial is reformatted for reading on the tablet.
The digital publishing platform used here appears to be Mag+ based on its navigation and overall look. The initial disappointment is seeing the ads unchanged quickly disappears as the reader moves on to the editorial. Like many first digital issues, it is hard to get advertisers and their agencies to being swapping out creative for the digital edition, and many publishers are leery of crossing circulation audit rules.
But I doubt the publisher of Chilled is too concerned with circulation rules in the same way a consumer magazine normally would be. Chilled is a trade publication, with a vast majority of its readership being bartenders (the rest being consumer), according to the magazine's publisher Jeff Greif. This explains why the magazine is free to download within the Newsstand app.
The magazine is published by Chilled Media LLC which is an offshoot of Chilled Distributors LLC – in other words, the beverage magazine is tied to the beverage distribution business. (The app appears under the developer account name of Anthony Graziano, president of both companies, and listed as managing editor of the magazine.)
The tie to the distribution business is a bit like those grocery store publications that contain ads from the food brands – in other words, its good to be on both sides of the business. This is something that we will see more and more of, and while some might call this content marketing, it is a little more complicated than that when we actually see it in print (or digital, as the case may be).
The magazine has had digital editions in the past as the title can be found inside the Zinio digital newsstand. RCS Publisher Services is credited with distribution services in the magazine and they may have had a hand in the digital edition.
The app may just be part of the publisher's overall digital distribution strategy, by creating a hybrid edition they have published a well-designed, easy to read digital edition, making many right choices.
Update: Chilled has been updated to add new interactive pages.