If you’ve been following recent news from the digital publishing industry it really would have been very difficult to miss the recent announcement, of a US based proposition called Next Issue. Some are calling it a real game changer.
Next issue is a collaboration between 5 specific major publishers Time Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, and News Corp. Included in the line-up are Time Inc’s People, Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and Time; Conde Nast’s Vanity Fair, Allure, and Conde Nast Traveler; Hearst’s Esquire and Popular Mechanics; and Meredith’s Better Homes and Gardens and Fitness. There are 32 magazines in total available at launch.
So what is Next issue? A platform that offers a one time payment model where a flat fee provides access to magazine content from some of the biggest publishers in the business so basically it is unlimited digital magazine access.
Is it for iPad? Not yet though this is in the pipeline, at present the App is only available on Android. iOS launch is expected around June.
Is it all-you-can eat? Yes indeed for a one of payment per month of either $9.99 or $14.99. The premium package at the higher price point allows subscribers to access a range of ‘higher grade’ materials premium brings publications such as Time and the New Yorker into the mix. There is also a one off subscription available for $1.99 per month.
Next Issue is already being touted as the publishing world’s first step into a Spotify model for magazines so we thought a quick look at the ups and downs for this solution would be worthwhile.
First up – No iPad version, this has to be a strange call generally the first App released will be the iPad followed by Android so we suspect that the App is already finished and this is Apple delaying the process. Next Issue are going to play ball with Apple for in-App purchases so it is in Apple’s interest to co-operate here. Next Issue could have provide an Amazon-esque model of Safari based purchasing to keep Apple out of the picture on iPad, as Next Issue will work with Apple the latter will benefit from the 30% share of revenue.
To add to this faults are already appearing where iPad user sign-up is concerned, thought you said there was no iPad version I hear you cry? – We did. If there is one thing which Apple get right each time it is their execution (except for MobileMe?) iPad users can actually sign up for Next Issue but not read a thing even post Credit Card Checkout etc. Take note Next Issue you’ll need to alert iPad users that this is (Google) Android territory only for now.
Next Issue really is for the Blue Bloods in the market – A completely closed shop, if you’re a self pubber, Niche publication or a content creator who is not affiliated with a major publisher then you’re never going to be on Next Issue, the market place is for big players only.
So it would appear that for now Next Issue is not quite the solution which it will probbably become, there is a limited selection of content at present and teething problems are there too but in time the proposition is sure to be a well utilised platform for the publishers involved.
Image is from the nice folks here.