Home » Apps, Tablets/Ereaders » The tablet magazine ship is sinking. Fast.

The tablet magazine ship is sinking. Fast.

16 December 2013

From GigaOm:

 I was certainly not the first to proclaim the death of the tablet magazine, the now universally recognized and unequivocal data pointing to the steep decline of print-replica apps is becoming undeniable.

What’s even worse news for magazine publishers who have chosen either a PDF-based or Adobe InDesign-led “Plug-In” app solution in a race to cash in on Apple’s Newsstand is the damning evidence of Apple’s lack of support…and frankly, interest in the Newsstand app itself.

Once the “holy grail” for magazine publishers, promising front-and-center exposure for their periodicals, the Newsstand app in iOS 7 has become almost irrelevant.

As pointed out by Hamish Mckenzie from Pandodaily:

“…there is now no visual reminder within the Newsstand icon that there are publications inside, waiting to be read. On top of that, in iOS7 users can now hide the Newsstand icon inside a folder. The once-special treatment that Apple gave publishers in order to encourage the distribution of magazines to the iPhone and iPad has apparently vanished, at least in terms of visual prominence.”

. . . .

The Newsstand and tablet magazine honeymoon is over. Apple knows it. The industry knows it. And consumers have made it painfully clear for far too long.

Link to the rest at GigaOm

Apps, Tablets/Ereaders

11 Comments to “The tablet magazine ship is sinking. Fast.”

  1. I tried to read a couple of magazines on my iPad, and I just couldn’t. I still spend my magazine money at B&N.

  2. Same here. I was very excited when my library started offering Zinio, a service that allows you to download magazines for free. However, the reality is that reading a magazine on my iPad Mini is a frustrating experience.

    A page that fits the screen is too small to read. I can enlarge the page, but then have to reposition it several times to read the content. Worst of all is that “turning a page” resets the next page back to the default size, causing me to go through the resizing all over again.

    Magazines have to learn to format their content for tablets, not for print, before reading them electronically becomes enjoyable.

  3. The problem is that there’s very little difference between a tablet magazine and a website. There ARE differences but they usually weight in favor of the website.

  4. I used to work at a “cutting-edge” (self-description) information provider selling to “early adopters” (young finance professionals) – the company spent a fortune getting all the magazines into electronic format. Itwould have made sense, inthe long run, saving printing costs and delivery times.

    I was kinda skeptical about it at the time – but then I visited the users in their offices.

    All the magazines had been printed out and marked up/underlined/highlighted by hand.

  5. There are a few tablet magazines/newspapers that are a definite step up from just a website and a multi-storey staircase up from dumping raw PDF files of the print version. The Economist’s iPad app is great — you can even download audio of nice British accents reading the articles to you. The Montreal daily newspaper _La Presse_ has an amazing app designed specifically for the iPad. So it can be done.

    But the Apple Newstand whatever-the-hell-it-is adds zero value to these. I just find it annoying to have to go through it to open the real apps and I kinda resent their stupid shelves icon taking up useless space on my list of open apps. The sooner it dies, the better.

  6. I tried reading a magazine on my iPad once. I was reasonably happy with the experience until I discovered it wouldn’t save my spot. Then it became useless.

  7. Pretty much what everyone else here has said. My iPad seems like it should be ideal for magazines. But it’s a frustrating, clunky, hard-to-read experience, not as good as reading on my computer AND bizarrely not as good as reading in paper.

    Whereas I have a local online news app on my iPad that’s great, I enjoy most ebooks on my iPad, I check weather there, etc. But magazines have so far been a big disappointment in terms of tablets and e-readers.

  8. I like how Asimov’s looks on my kindle. never tried it on my tablet…

  9. I have subscriptions to a few magazines on my Kindle (Flying, Plane & Pilot, Cycle World etc.) and my major issue is the tablet version is just a digitized version of the printed one.

    Why not offer a true tablet version, independently formatted, which takes advantage of all that a tablet offers?

    The big magazine publishers have plenty of staff and free lancers that could accomplish this without much fuss, yet they resist. Why?

    I truly believe that magazines will make a true transition to tablets. I don’t know when but its coming and from the looks of it smaller publishers will lead the charge and do things the right way.

    • Forgot to mention one of the things I like about a magazine over a website (for certain subjects) is its fixed length. I open it, read the articles, and eventually I’m done.

  10. Yeah, I tried to enjoy an issue of Plein Air on my Kindle Fire and it just didn’t work out all that well. Bummer. I think maybe there’ll be a re-try at this whole tablet magazine thing someday, but perhaps the technology doesn’t quite translate the experience yet…? I’m not sure exactly what it is that makes it feel dissatisfying.

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