Periodical apps

At the Frankfurt Book Fair, Adam Hodgkin of Exact Editions sat with me to demo a version of the firm’s iPhone app for magazines. Although I am not generally a fan of so-called digital editions, the app that Adam showed made effective use of the iPhone/iPod Touch interface. As is increasingly the case with digital editions, navigation was reasonably intuitive, and the app’s overall presentation allowed a reader to drill down for greater resolution.

Exact Editions is also reporting success with a paid app for Opera Magazine. Available for $1.99, the app is one of a growing number of title-specific, free or paid downloads that support awareness (publishers do need to figure out how to get discovered in the app store) and trial on a lower-cost, lower-risk basis.

Although there is an occasional tendency to pronounce the future with the advent of each new channel or medium, Adam’s introduction and the Exact Editions pitch both say, “Try this, and see how it works”. Because app development is far from free, more frequent periodicals are more likely to develop and sustain them. That said, it’s good to see some experimentation that pitches both the value and agility of niche content.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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