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October - 2011 - issue > CEO Spotlight
Magazines in your hand will go Digital
Girish Ramdas
Monday, October 3, 2011
The magazine publishing industry has been witnessing a downtrend over the past few years and the advent of Smartphones and Tablets has given the entire publishing industry a new lease of life.

Earlier, when a magazine wanted to reach more people they created an e-zine which was a way to put the entire magazine in a PDF version online and let people pay and buy – this started in the early 2000s but this never really took off. Users always had to log into the magazine website and then download the issues and it was very cumbersome. But when Apple launched their iPad in 2010, the ubiquitous ‘in-app-purchase’ allowed buyers to buy anything with just one click. This transformed the readers buying behavior as they were able to buy magazines instantaneously and read them in their device itself which started a trend called ‘frictionless publishing’. The main drawback of individual magazines going this way was that they all had to create Apps and that too apps across disparate devices – the cost of creating and maintaining such apps far outweighs the actual number of readers or subscribers an individual app has. This issue was effectively understood by the core team of Magzter which has years of experience in the internet, marketing and software industry and created the World’s first cross-platform digital magazine store called Magzter which allows publishers to use a self-service tool to publish magazines across iPhone, iPad, Android and the web within minutes.

The industry today is moving towards digital newsstands and even though the Top Tier magazines are creating their own apps we see a trend of those apps not being the entire magazines but certain niche content that is derived from the magazine content. The new age of magazines is surely going towards digital editions either with their own apps of through newsstands or a combination of both in order to get maximum reach and visibility of their magazines.

The next few years will see a consolidation of the publishing industry and we will see a spate of digital-only magazines which won’t have a print edition but only a digital one. Magazines themselves will strive to deliver better and exclusive content that is not available on the web or any free media and will reinvent themselves from just being monthlies or weeklies to even interactive magazines with daily content updates of certain sections. The other trend on digital newsstands would be the ability for publishers to sell single articles and monetize better that selling full magazines.

Digital publishing has been around for a while now but the way forward is to allow magazine readers to buy magazines digitally across platforms and devices and digitally maintain the subscriptions and purchases on the various smart-handheld devices.

Entrepreneurs have a great opportunity to mine data that is being generated from these digital platforms and newsstands in order to create better reading experiences and to create niche digital-only magazines which will be the way of the future.

The Author is the Co-founder and CEO, Magzter

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