Digital Publishing Blog by PressPad Posts
There are two trends in the field of magazine apps for iPad; the first one is building dedicated applications, and the other one is about web apps. This article focuses on the first approach and describes the process of creating a dedicated newsstand app for iPad ready to conquer the App Store by magazine publishers.
Let’s take a short trip back in time.
It’s 2012. Apple introduces the fourth-generation iPads and the iPhone 5 (the last smartphone overseen by Steve Jobs). At the same time PressPad launches an iOS app dedicated to publishers who wants to go mobile with their content. Over the following years, Apple develops the iOS system and introduces changes in the App Store, determining PressPad’s app evolution.
Together with creating a newsstand app for iPad, PressPad also ensures permanent supervision over Apple’s updates. From now on, all of the magazine apps created by PressPad are compatible with those following the iOS version. In practice, it means that publishers may forget about technical stuff and dealing directly with Apple on their own; instead they can focus on the things really important for them – the magazine content.
Accordingly, an iPad app for magazine publishers becomes the core product of PressPad.
Suddenly, a significant change comes along.
Today marks a milestone day for publishing. Newscorp’s The Daily is winding down operations.
Nate Hoffelder from The Digital Reader:
The Daily launched in early 2011 amidst a lot of fanfare, hype, and a massive advertising campaign. It expanded beyond the iPad in early 2012 with new Android apps, but clearly it was not growing fast enough nor was it currently covering its costs. It was reportedly losing 30 million dollars a year.
Very interesting decision by Newsweek:
We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.
Newsweek will be renamed to Newsweek Global and published via The Daily Beast, most e-reades and OSes out there. We see this as a very important milestone in publishing history. We believe Newsweek is going to do just fine, since 2013 is seen as a year of change. This is going to be a year when publishers either move digital or will be forced to close/scale down businesses. This is how Baba Shetty of The Daily Beast sees it as well:
Journalism’s Sarah Marshall gathered in one article opinions about publishing with Apple’s iOS Newsstand. If you are interested what Future, Vogue, The Week and others think about Newsstand, introduced by Apple little over a year ago, go ahead and read Sarah posts.
This piece cought our eye:
“The most important thing is that we got on there quick,” he [Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief of digital editions at Future Publishing – Paul] told Journalism.co.uk, explaining that Future decided the best approach was to be ready for the launch of Newsstand by creating PDF page-turner apps of its titles.
“Some people didn’t see this as a particularly elegant solution or the most futuristic solution to what a digital edition should be on something as gorgeous as the iPad, but it enabled us to get on there, learn, get some analytics back, talk to customers and find out what they want,” Goldsmith added.
Publishers face this problem when launching a mobile version: how to let existing readers know about e.g. iOS Newsstand app.
Here are few examples that we find working. Some of them require you to sign in for Apple Developer Account. You can do that without paying $99 annual membership and still download those materials. We could just copy those materials for you but they change from time to time and it is better that you have always the newest one. If you wish we can always email you the newest one.
We have covered only technical issues here but will write another post about best business practices when launching on mobile.
Update: since this post was created we have changed our pricing. Now Newsstand apps are free for magazines publishers. Read more about our new offer.
When we first started thinking about PressPad we had plenty of ideas how it can work and what features it might have. But whatever level of advancement we were talking about one thing didn’t change: we wanted PressPad to be a self-service publishing tool.
You may ask why self-service is so important for us. When we first did research about publishing industry lots of products (not just mobile publishing, but all range of services) worked in old-school model: they let you contact a sales representative, next prepare a written quotation for you and get back to you when it is done.
We are often asked if Newsstand is somehow competitive to PressPad. It is in fact complementary, but it is not obvious so we decided to write down everything “Newsstand” really is:
Newsstand as a special folder on iOS devices where all newsspapers and magazines are stored. Easy.
Now to more complicated stuff: magazines utilizing Newsstand has to have subscriptions.
That means that user can choose from several different periods in whitch new issues will be delivered to their devices automatically. Available subscription periods are: 1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months and one year.
When it comes to app names most obvious guess is your Magazine name, right? That is what we thought as well, but short look back at our previous experience with apps tells a different story.
We’ve been developing games, utilities, and spent some time with mobile book publishing. There’re few things we’ve learnt and they are all aplicable to Magazines as well. For one on the Apple’s App Store there are in fact two different names: the one that’s displayed below your icon/cover on the device, and the one that is being used on the App Store itself.
First one should be short, sharp and easy to remember. There’s no character limit, but here’s what happen when you use to many characters (in this case „This App Name is Way to Long”):