iOS Newsstand gives Future an e-publishing boost

The Association of Online Publishers reports that Future Publishing’s titles racked up over 2 millions Apple Newsstand downloads in the first four days of iOS 5’s release.

Future launched more than 50 titles on Newsstand when it launched on Thursday 13 October, making it the most prolific publisher in the space. The mix of free, paid-for and premium products has attracted north of two million downloads, and represents consumer spending well in excess of normal monthly revenues.

Future UK CEO Mark Wood says: “Future had sold more digital editions in the past four days through Apple’s Newsstand than in a normal month. It’s clear that Newsstand creates an amazing opportunity for publishers – and I’m committed to continue driving our brands through this great new distribution channel.

“We plan to include more sampler issues in every magazine container in coming weeks, as well as uploading high price-point bookazines and premium one-shot titles.”

Newsstand’s presentation style certainly makes electronic editions of magazines feel much more integrated into iOS in ways that iBooks, which originated the “bookshelf”-style look and feel Newsstand uses, does not. And despite the gnashing of teeth regarding Apple’s commission level and the lack of personal information publishers can receive about subscribers, the revenue implications should be more than welcome.

Author: Scott Matthewman

Formerly Online Editor and Digital Project Manager for The Stage, creator of the award-winning The Gay Vote politics blog, now a full-time software developer specialising in Ruby, Objective-C and Swift, as well as a part-time critic for Musical Theatre Review, The Reviews Hub and others.

2 thoughts on “iOS Newsstand gives Future an e-publishing boost”

  1. I would like to share with you some constructive criticism from an avid iTunes and iBooks user explaining why Newsstand has failed to appeal me and why, to this day, I refuse to purchase digital magazine content on my iPad (with or without Newsstand)…
     
    Unlike iBooks, Newsstand has failed to deliver magazine readers with an integrated and intuitive consumer experience which includes:
    – A common publication format with common ways of interacting with published content
    – The ability to add personal annotations to the content for future reference: notes, highlights and bookmarks
    – A dedicated built-in store in which to purchase publications
     
    Newsstand clearly fails at delivering any of these benefits which are focused on simplicity, usability and accessibility; three key corporate values for which Apple products, hardware and software alike, have become famous for. Newsstand looks and feels like a series of compromises between Apple and the magazine publishing corporations.
     
    The only perceived benefits for me appear to be automated background downloads of the latest magazine issue, the ability to see the latest magazine issue covers as tiny unreadable thumbnails and the consolidation of all magazine applications into a single location (more like an enhanced application folder really). As someone who just wants to enjoy the content and easily discover more content, these minor functional enhancments to the current e-magazine apps on the iPad just aren’t enough for me. The Newsstand store is just a category of apps in the AppStore which forces me out of the Newsstand app itself and allows me  get lost in all of the other apps and the magazine formats are just as different from on publication to another; requiring me to relearn how to use each one every time. I can’t take notes, highlight or bookmark in a consistent way (if at all in certain publications). At the moment, Newsstand is just an extra unused icon on my iPad that I need to hide somewhere as I do not use it.
     
    I’m sorry Apple, I tried to use Newsstand, but the shear amount of inconsistencies I experienced just turned me right off of the concept. To me, this is a missed opportunity for both Apple and magazine publishers to reach the vast iPad consumer base.
     
    Better luck next time…