On Monday the Belgian publisher Rossel & Cie launched two Newsstand apps for a new digital magazine called Redzone. One version is in French (Redzone FR), the other in Dutch (Redzone NL). But while the apps launched, the only thing to be found inside was a page that promoted the magazine to come, June 5th to be precise.
Well, today is June 5th and right on time the new magazine can now be found inside the app's library – or at least inside the French app's library as that was the version I previewed.
The new digital magazine does what an increasing number of launches are doing, reimagining what a magazine should deliver to readers on the iPad. Rather than simply a series of articles, Redzone concentrates on one player on the Belgian national football team and features an article with several video clips and lots of photography. Because of the video, the first issue weighs in at 490 MB once downloaded and installed.
The motivation for the new launch is the fact that the Belgian national team is particularly good this cycle (meaning the World Cup four year cycle) and a big game is coming up with Serbia.
Le choc entre la Belgique et la Serbie, en vue du Mondial 2014, approche à grands pas. Une rencontre qui ne fait pas peur à Marouane Fellaini, l’un des fers de lance de l’équipe nationale, qui s’est dévoilé sur ses racines, son avenir et les Diables rouges dans le nouveau mensuel digital et gratuit édité par Sudpresse, Redzone. Chaque mois, découvrez la face cachée des stars de l’équipe belge de football!The magazine is free of charge to download and access, being supported by advertising.
The clash between Belgium and Serbia for the World 2014 is fast approaching. A meeting that is not afraid to Marouane Fellaini, one of the spearheads of the national team, which was unveiled on its roots, its future and the Red Devils in the new monthly digital and edited by Sudpresse free, Redzone. Each month, discover the hidden stars of the Belgian football team! – a not particularly good Google translation
The new digital magazine, by the way, is called Redzone because the nickname for the team is the Red Devils (Diables Rouges in French, Rode Duivels in Dutch). In a country like Belgium I would guess that using English ends up being linguistically neutral.
Frankly, this is the type of product I assumed the NYT would be producing by now – modest sized special publications for the Apple Newsstand that can supplement their paywall strategy and reinforce the reader's decision to buy a digital subscription. The Tribune Co. started doing this at the Chicago Tribune but their efforts didn't even last a year and appear to have been abandoned (they are too busy trying to sell off their newspapers).
Here is a short walk-through of the first issue of Redzone: