IPad owners will likely tell you their tablet is ideal for reading electronic books, magazines and newspapers – and a new app serves as both a digital newsstand and publishing platform.
Similar in concept to Apple’s Newsstand app and Zinio, MediaWire houses dozens of publications – free and subscription-based – that appear on the app virtually the same day as the paper version hits newsstands.
Swipe left or right to peruse the list of publications, tap to download the ones you want to read, and the magazines, journals and newspapers appear under the My Library tab. You can also do a search by keyword or browse by category.
While MediaWire doesn’t have as many well-known publications as Newsstand and Zinio, most of the selections are free to download. This includes Engage, Franchise Buyer, b2b magazine, BMW ON magazine, Discover Your Broadway, Homes Plus or Desert Golf. Readers can also share publications with friends through social-networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
More than 1,000 free and paid publications are available to date; paid publications are purchased through an iTunes account.
Anyone can create digital editions of their content – be it books, magazines, newspapers, journals or brochures – in less than an hour, which is a lot quicker than competing digital newsstands, says MediaWire. A secure Web portal with e-commerce support (set your own price) is used by people or businesses to publish content for iOS devices, including the iPad.
Support for Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry is also coming by mid-2012.
MediaWire says publishers simply log into the portal, upload the PDF file, and their publication will be live within the app soon thereafter. If the publication is free, it’ll take under an hour to be published. If there’s a price tag on the download, Apple needs to approve it, which could take a few days to be live in the app.
The cost to publish content varies, says MediaWire, but starts at about $100 per upload. If it’s a paid publication, the publisher gets 60%, Apple takes 30%, and MediaWire gets 10%.
Along with simply digitizing text and photos, the publishing tool lets you add Web links, videos, audio and other interactive content, if desired. After it’s published, you can see sales info (broken out by day, week or month), as well as the geographic location of users and the device they’re using.
One of the shortcomings, however, is the success of the publication hinges largely on the popularity of MediaWire as a newsstand app, and because it doesn’t have as many mainstream offerings as Zinio and Apple’s Newsstand, this could be an issue. A publication can choose to advertise its availability and point to the app, of course, plus publications can also create their own stand-alone app through MediaWire, says the company.