By all accounts, the iPad should provide a great reading experience. After all, the device has so many great features, including full-screen views, instant page-turns, accurate color reproduction, fast zooming and font adjustment, instant bookmarking, and all the interactive extras you can imagine. The problem is that the iPad is just a vehicle. It’s what is (or is not) available to read on it that is the problem.
When the iPad arrived just over two years ago, it was immediately regarded as a means to save the faltering print publishing industry. The iPad has done wonders for digital newspapers, novels, and textbooks, but the same can’t be said for magazines, and though Apple’s Newsstand initiative continues to improve, the user experience is not up to par for a number of reasons.
Apple has long had an uneasy relationship with the publishing industry. It took months for the two sides to agree on terms to sell magazines on the iPad after it debuted. Publishers were reluctant to give Apple the high cut of sales that it demanded. Traditional publishers don’t have confidence in the iPad platform. Everyone understands that Newsstand is not going away, but more choices and competition are needed. The limited selection and underwhelming Newsstand offerings seem to indicate so.
Now is the time to offer compelling, quality digital magazines. Publishers are eager to push into the digital arena at a time when print circulation is falling. Recent Audit Bureau of Circulations data states that digital magazine circulation is now more than 3.1 million. That’s still a very tiny fraction of overall circulation, but it’s a huge potential growth area and a recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that tablet and e-reader ownership went from 18 percent of the U.S. population in mid-December 2011 to 29 percent in January 2012.
Consumers want digital magazines that are customized for a platform, taking factors like screen size into account. To that end, http://turn-page.com has developed the perfect publishing solution, using PDFs with additional features to customize a digital edition.
Because the dream of a digital newsstand took so long to come to fruition, most publications already offer some sort of tablet app in Apple’s Newsstand, with varying degrees of quality and features. Mediawiremobile.com is a very good digital Printstand. The idea behind mediawiremobile.com is to give tablet users one centralized place to access magazines, replacing the current system whereby users must surf from site to site to access the titles they want. Customers are willing to pay for content and convenience, and they’re especially willing to pay for a seamless, enjoyable experience. http://turn-page.com and http://mediawiremobile.com are two solutions for a successful digital magazine experience.