I can’t say that the sudden rise of web-delivered digital magazines is a trend I foresaw. It was initially a by-product magazine renaissance that came with the mass ownership of touchscreen devices, but webzine publishing is now a niche in which many startups are willing to specialize.
This year, alone, I have personally reviewed the likes of Creatavist and Readymag, and been hugely impressed, whilst other platforms such as TypeEngine and Origami Engine — despite their names, both are more suited to talk than torque — are making significant headway, too.
My latest encounter with the format comes in the form of Beacon. With a simple approach to creation, publication and selling — even Beacon’s website is a one-pager — it should be the ideal platform for those who want to concentrate on content rather than configuration. But can it deliver the required quality to capture the attention of the reading public?
Paginated publishing is back. When we originally turned away from print in favour of the digital world, web formats ruled the roost. But sales of touchscreen devices have boomed in recent years, and the knock-on effect has been to return the most natural format for reading to the ascendancy.
This arrival at full circle has triggered a brand new kind of platform — the e-publishing CMS. We may be just three years into the tablet revolution, but there are already numerous options for the journalist or novelist wanting to self-publish digitally. Apple’s introduction of iBooks was followed by the launch of near-frictionless services such as Origami Engine, ReadyMag and Type Engine, and many more have arrived since. It is a seriously competitive market.
Yet, I think the outlook for Creatavist, a new “web-based storytelling platform,” is actually quite good. A mammoth array of content options awaits potential users of this beta offering, and it also has the backing of Nicholas Thompson, the editor of The New Yorker’s website — he co-founded the developing company, in fact. So, can this new kid on the block make a meaningful impression?
One of the great things that the web has brought us is the ability to find and create content for people to read. With blog services, magazine curation, and other social media apps, the web has given the average person the ability to create something of quality, using just the web. Before, you had to work for a company that would provide you with the tools to create good quality on the web or really know how to use the web tools, whereas now, just about anyone can do this.
Take for example Flipboard, who has come on to become a solid application for both reading and now curating content for others. When they first started out, they came onto the scene with a solid iPad app to consume your RSS feeds and other news that you wanted to know about. Slowly over time, they opened up a new side of their business by not only letting the average user consume content, but gave them the ability to curate it as well.
Now, they have opened this up even further to expand to the web, which has now created an application that can be used by many more people. Let’s take a look at Flipboard for the Web and see how this can be used in a variety of different ways.
It’s a new year, and paid digital magazines and newspapers are still the talk of the town online. Traditional media has been hurt by the internet, with subscriber numbers falling and advertising dollars moving online (or disappearing entirely). But then, there’s a growing number of publications with paywalls around their content (like the New York Times), and tablets have given a new boost to digital magazines.
The most interesting thing, though, is the new players. There’s totally new digital magazines, such as The Magazine, launched by Marco Arment of Instapaper fame. It launched on the iPhone, but recently got a web-focused makeover that lets you subscribe online and read articles in your browser or download them in eBook formats. There’s also new long-form journalism efforts such as MATTER, a great new digital publication that brings one long-form article per month, which you can get via a subscription or directly through Kindle.
Last year, we asked if you subscribe to any digital magazines, and over 30% of you said that you did at that time. With all the new choices available now, though, we’re wondering if more of you are subscribing to paid digital publications. Or, have you found that digital editions of magazines didn’t live up to your expectations, and canceled your subscriptions?
If you are subscribing to digital magazines, we’d love to hear which ones you love in the comments below!
The web touches everyone’s lives today. It creates new opportunities, while at the same time disrupting old businesses. It’s affected publishers almost more than any other industry, taking print’s popularity as free web content became more popular.
Today, we’ve got an interview with a publisher of a new design magazine, Distance, about the ways he uses the web to get his magazine published and his thoughts on design. It’s different than our normal interviews with web app developers, so we hope you enjoy it!
This morning, I awoke to find an email from Distance, a new design-centric magazine I’d recently backed on Kickstarter. The first issue was ready for download, and seconds later I was flipping through the PDF on my iPad. Here’s a new magazine that started with an idea, was funded through Kickstarter, and weeks later was in my hands digitally.
The web’s fueled writing in all shapes and sizes: websites and blogs like this one, eBooks from Kindle and other eBook stores and libraries, and even digital magazines. From new digital versions of Wired or National Geographic on the iPad to brand new indie magazines like Hacker Monthly, Distance, or the WP Candy Quarterly, there’s digital magazines in all shapes and sizes. Some are more like apps than documents, while others come in DRM-free PDF and ePub formats so you can read them anywhere.
Magazines can sometimes seem like an archaic format in the day of blogs. However, there’s still something to be said for the high-quality content and formatting magazines offer, and many of us have spent pleasant afternoons browsing through magazines in years past. Would you consider buying a digital magazine today, or do you already buy them? What would make magazines still be relevant in 2012 to you?
The web has put traditional journalism into a tailspin, and newspapers of all sizes are scrambling to find a way to monetize their content. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more have created paywalls that require readers to pay to read all of their content each month, either online or in apps on various mobile platforms. Increasingly, though, publishers are turning to mobile apps as the only way to sell digital copies of their articles, cutting the web out of the equation.
Is this the future of digital media? Will we have to purchase specific devices to read the content we want? Or is there hope yet for monetized content on the internet?