Are iPad Magazine Apps Dead?

A state of the art roundtable, featuring five top magazine and app creators. Here’s a sample excerpt:

Why have readers failed to embrace magazine apps in the numbers that we all once hoped? Is the problem the app format, the tablets, or something more fundamental?

David Jacobs, CEO of 29th Street Publishing: A lot of the thinking about how audiences work on the Internet is flawed. For years, the thinking was “all audiences are moving on-line.” OK, that’s an interesting assertion! So what happened? Websites rebuilt themselves to be better clients for Google, and then again to be better clients for Facebook and Twitter, and now we are seeing the beginnings of that happening again – for folks to be more like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. This is an incremental improvement – Buzzfeed and Upworthy both advertise their empathy for users as a cornerstone for what they believe in.

But overall, the way audiences behave on-line (and on mobile) is much less predictable than anyone thought it would be. Successful products focus on accessibility, experience and flexibility.  Traditionally, mobile magazines have fallen down on all three of those. By the way, print magazines, especially this most recent generation of independent magazines, completely understand this and take advantage of it. Start-up publishers are taking advantage of social networks to find their ideal audience and then sending them beautiful print products. And it’s a great experience flipped around, too – as a reader and a fan of magazines, the joy of searching for (and finding) a new print magazine is not something the average tablet experience can touch.

Josh Klenert, former creative director of Huffington magazine: We’ve learned over the last 20 years of publishing on the web, that to gain scale you need to leverage search and social to build an audience. It’s not true that “if you build it, they will come.” The same is true for apps. Right now, they are a destination. If a user connects with your brand, they will come, consume, and hopefully return. For example, with our HuffPost news app, we see that it’s a destination that sees more page views per visitor versus mobile web, but mobile web sees more unique users. But this is for a news product that is updated hundreds of times a day, not a weekly or monthly publication that lands with a thud. Those weekly/monthly publications then just sit in the Newsstand collecting dust in between updates while users move on to products that embrace the always-connected digital platform; ones that simply provide more stuff more often. I certainly don’t think you can blame the tablets themselves. You can’t argue with the vast number of iPads or Android tablets sold or apps downloaded (and used), and it’s not the usability of the iPad either. How many times have you seen a two year old flawlessly zip around on an iPad?


Jeremy Leslie, magCulture: Tablets are great for watching movies, playing games, reading websites, checking emails, listening to music, tweeting, facebooking and answering questionnaires like this one. And now you’re saying that in addition to all these activities I have the option to spend money on a 350-meg download of a product that is better in print? The problem is fundamental (and reflected in Apple’s lack of interest in the magazine app. Abandon Newsstand!) An exception is as an alternative to physical distribution. If a print magazine is expensive and slow to arrive in a far-flung part of the world, an app is a great get-round. I designed the Frieze magazine app, and that’s their strategy.
Read the whole conversation here.

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Are iPad Magazine Apps Dead?

A state of the art roundtable, featuring five top magazine and app creators. Here’s a sample excerpt:

Why have readers failed to embrace magazine apps in the numbers that we all once hoped? Is the problem the app format, the tablets, or something more fundamental?

David Jacobs, CEO of 29th Street Publishing: A lot of the thinking about how audiences work on the Internet is flawed. For years, the thinking was “all audiences are moving on-line.” OK, that’s an interesting assertion! So what happened? Websites rebuilt themselves to be better clients for Google, and then again to be better clients for Facebook and Twitter, and now we are seeing the beginnings of that happening again – for folks to be more like Buzzfeed and Upworthy. This is an incremental improvement – Buzzfeed and Upworthy both advertise their empathy for users as a cornerstone for what they believe in.

But overall, the way audiences behave on-line (and on mobile) is much less predictable than anyone thought it would be. Successful products focus on accessibility, experience and flexibility.  Traditionally, mobile magazines have fallen down on all three of those. By the way, print magazines, especially this most recent generation of independent magazines, completely understand this and take advantage of it. Start-up publishers are taking advantage of social networks to find their ideal audience and then sending them beautiful print products. And it’s a great experience flipped around, too – as a reader and a fan of magazines, the joy of searching for (and finding) a new print magazine is not something the average tablet experience can touch.

Josh Klenert, former creative director of Huffington magazine: We’ve learned over the last 20 years of publishing on the web, that to gain scale you need to leverage search and social to build an audience. It’s not true that “if you build it, they will come.” The same is true for apps. Right now, they are a destination. If a user connects with your brand, they will come, consume, and hopefully return. For example, with our HuffPost news app, we see that it’s a destination that sees more page views per visitor versus mobile web, but mobile web sees more unique users. But this is for a news product that is updated hundreds of times a day, not a weekly or monthly publication that lands with a thud. Those weekly/monthly publications then just sit in the Newsstand collecting dust in between updates while users move on to products that embrace the always-connected digital platform; ones that simply provide more stuff more often. I certainly don’t think you can blame the tablets themselves. You can’t argue with the vast number of iPads or Android tablets sold or apps downloaded (and used), and it’s not the usability of the iPad either. How many times have you seen a two year old flawlessly zip around on an iPad?

Jeremy Leslie, magCulture: Tablets are great for watching movies, playing games, reading websites, checking emails, listening to music, tweeting, facebooking and answering questionnaires like this one. And now you’re saying that in addition to all these activities I have the option to spend money on a 350-meg download of a product that is better in print? The problem is fundamental (and reflected in Apple’s lack of interest in the magazine app. Abandon Newsstand!) An exception is as an alternative to physical distribution. If a print magazine is expensive and slow to arrive in a far-flung part of the world, an app is a great get-round. I designed the Frieze magazine app, and that’s their strategy.

Read the whole conversation here.

Are iPad Magazine Apps Dead?
A state of the art roundtable, featuring five top magazine and app creators. Here’s a sample excerpt:
How will the magazine app publishing scene be different a year from now? Will we be having an “apps are back!” roundtable next year?
Josh Klenert (former creative director of the Huffington magazine app): My best guess is that there will be bigger shifts on the business side that will allow for more scale. Platforms like Zinio, ISSUU, and Next Issue will reach massive scale with ecosystems to consume magazine content no matter where users are will thrive. Think of YouTube for videos. Videos can be watched on YouTube or be embedded anywhere. Publishing ecosystems that don’t allow for this will disappear.
Big publishers may go the way of the music industry and start to unbundle content (think singles vs. full albums) — possibly with a fremium model. Content a user consumes will become more passively personalized for the user. Its like adding elements of a personalized Flipboard-like experience which shows the content you are most interested in. For example, I read lots of movie reviews from Entertainment Weekly; well then I should start to see more entertainment content from Time appear in my magazine. I bookmark a story about summer suits in GQ; well then I should start to see more fashion content from Details appear. These apps need to ultimately become native to their digital platforms and evolve into utilities that people go to on a daily basis. In order to do this, like the web before it, the direct connection to a printed publication cycle needs to be broken.
Read the whole conversation here.

//

Are iPad Magazine Apps Dead?

A state of the art roundtable, featuring five top magazine and app creators. Here’s a sample excerpt:

How will the magazine app publishing scene be different a year from now? Will we be having an “apps are back!” roundtable next year?

Josh Klenert (former creative director of the Huffington magazine app): My best guess is that there will be bigger shifts on the business side that will allow for more scale. Platforms like Zinio, ISSUU, and Next Issue will reach massive scale with ecosystems to consume magazine content no matter where users are will thrive. Think of YouTube for videos. Videos can be watched on YouTube or be embedded anywhere. Publishing ecosystems that don’t allow for this will disappear.

Big publishers may go the way of the music industry and start to unbundle content (think singles vs. full albums) — possibly with a fremium model. Content a user consumes will become more passively personalized for the user. Its like adding elements of a personalized Flipboard-like experience which shows the content you are most interested in. For example, I read lots of movie reviews from Entertainment Weekly; well then I should start to see more entertainment content from Time appear in my magazine. I bookmark a story about summer suits in GQ; well then I should start to see more fashion content from Details appear. These apps need to ultimately become native to their digital platforms and evolve into utilities that people go to on a daily basis. In order to do this, like the web before it, the direct connection to a printed publication cycle needs to be broken.

Read the whole conversation here.

Are Magazine Apps Dead? A state of the art roundtable featuring Jeremy Leslie, Joe Zeff, Josh Klenert, Mario Garcia, and David Jacobs. Josh Klenert on why readers have not embraced magazine apps in large numbers: “We’ve learned over the last 20 years of publishing on the web, that to gain scale you need to leverage search and social to build an audience. It’s not true that “if you build it, they will come.” The same is true for apps. Right now, they are a destination. If a user connects with your brand, they will come, consume, and hopefully return. For example, with our HuffPost news app, we see that it’s a destination that sees more page views per visitor versus mobile web, but mobile web sees more unique users. But this is for a news product that is updated hundreds of times a day, not a weekly or monthly publication that lands with a thud. Those weekly/monthly publications then just sit in the Newsstand collecting dust in between updates while users move on to products that embrace the always-connected digital platform; ones that simply provide more stuff more often. I certainly don’t think you can blame the tablets themselves. You can’t argue with the vast number of iPads or Android tablets sold or apps downloaded (and used), and it’s not the usability of the iPad either. How many times have you seen a two year old flawlessly zip around on an iPad?”
Read the full story here.

//

Are Magazine Apps Dead? A state of the art roundtable featuring Jeremy Leslie, Joe Zeff, Josh Klenert, Mario Garcia, and David Jacobs.

Josh Klenert on why readers have not embraced magazine apps in large numbers:

“We’ve learned over the last 20 years of publishing on the web, that to gain scale you need to leverage search and social to build an audience. It’s not true that “if you build it, they will come.” The same is true for apps. Right now, they are a destination. If a user connects with your brand, they will come, consume, and hopefully return. For example, with our HuffPost news app, we see that it’s a destination that sees more page views per visitor versus mobile web, but mobile web sees more unique users. But this is for a news product that is updated hundreds of times a day, not a weekly or monthly publication that lands with a thud. Those weekly/monthly publications then just sit in the Newsstand collecting dust in between updates while users move on to products that embrace the always-connected digital platform; ones that simply provide more stuff more often. I certainly don’t think you can blame the tablets themselves. You can’t argue with the vast number of iPads or Android tablets sold or apps downloaded (and used), and it’s not the usability of the iPad either. How many times have you seen a two year old flawlessly zip around on an iPad?”

Read the full story here.

Are Magazine Apps Dead? 
A state of the art roundtable with five top magazine makers: David Jacobs (29th Street Publishing), Mario Garcia (Garcia Media), Joe Zeff (Joe Zeff Design),  Jeremy Leslie (magCulture), and Josh Klenert (former creative director of Huffington magazine). “We’re still only at the beginning of a longer experiment in the form.” 

//

Are Magazine Apps Dead?

A state of the art roundtable with five top magazine makers: David Jacobs (29th Street Publishing), Mario Garcia (Garcia Media), Joe Zeff (Joe Zeff Design), Jeremy Leslie (magCulture), and Josh Klenert (former creative director of Huffington magazine). “We’re still only at the beginning of a longer experiment in the form.”

The Huffington iPad magazine has been publishing a series of smart, engaging covers on their weekly editions, with photo illustration imagery created predominantly in-house by designer Troy Dunham and photo researcher Wendy George. The team has been dubbed #TrendyMagic by creative director Josh Klenert, who estimates that they’ve illustrated 75% of the magazine’s recent covers. “The magazine highlights the best of the Huffington Post,” says Klenert, “which means we work on a tight production cycle (and a limited budget) that’s in tune with the speed of our website.”

coverjunkie:

Huffington Post Mag (US)
Great new cover Huffington Post Magazine.
Huffington magazine, Blacklisted from Josh Klenert on Vimeo.

coverjunkie:

Huffington Post Mag (US)

SHOW YOUR COPY OF MY FAVO(U)RITE MAGAZINE #2

Here’s the second in a series of photographs of some of the many people (and places) who are enjoying their copies of My Favo(u)rite Magazine.

My Favo(u)rite Magazine is a benefit project for myself and my family. It’s a compilation of 88 publication editors and art directors describing their favorite magazines. Proceeds from the project will help defray the costs of my recent accident and recovery. Get your My Favo(u)rite Magazine (or one for a gift!) at Magculture.

(Pictured top to bottom):

Society of Publication Designers President Francesca Messina on the New York City subway.

Jack Milo, son of Hamburg, Germany art director Keith Campbell.

Picklejuice the cat, via Oakland art director Ivylise Simones.

The Huffington magazine design team: Martin Gee, Josh Klenert, Troy Dunham, Andrea Nasca.

Barcelona illustrator Hanoch Piven.

Enjoying fall foliage in Falls Village, Connecticut, via writer/editor Dan Shaw.

Society of Publication Designers executive director Keisha Dean (with the PDF version!)

Ivy Curry, New York City.

Hamburg, Germany art director Keith Campbell, with son Dean.

Fast Company design director Ted Keller.

The Huffington magazine design team with their copies of My Favo(u)rite Magazine (L-R: Martin Gee, Josh Klenert, Troy Dunham, Andrea Nasca). My Favo(u)rite Magazine is a benefit project for myself and my family. It’s a collection of 88 publication editors and art directors describing their favorite magazines. Proceeds from the project will help defray the costs of my recent accident and recovery. Get your copy of My Favo(u)rite Magazine at Magculture. Thanks Martin, Josh, Troy, and Andrea!

The Huffington magazine design team with their copies of My Favo(u)rite Magazine (L-R: Martin Gee, Josh Klenert, Troy Dunham, Andrea Nasca). My Favo(u)rite Magazine is a benefit project for myself and my family. It’s a collection of 88 publication editors and art directors describing their favorite magazines. Proceeds from the project will help defray the costs of my recent accident and recovery. Get your copy of My Favo(u)rite Magazine at Magculture. Thanks Martin, Josh, Troy, and Andrea!

Page from the Huffington. iPad appIllustration: Jeffrey DecosterCreative director: Josh Klenert
You can get Huffington. here.
Yesterday we posted a set of covers from the Huffington. iPad app. Today we’ve got some inside pages and illustrations. It’s great stuff, smart and engaging, and best of all, the app is free from the iTunes store!

Page from the Huffington. iPad app
Illustration: Jeffrey Decoster
Creative director: Josh Klenert

You can get Huffington. here.

Yesterday we posted a set of covers from the Huffington. iPad app. Today we’ve got some inside pages and illustrations. It’s great stuff, smart and engaging, and best of all, the app is free from the iTunes store!

Page from the Huffington. iPad appIllustration: Oliver MundayCreative director: Josh Klenert
You can get Huffington. here.
Yesterday we posted a set of covers from the Huffington. iPad app. Today we’ve got some inside pages and illustrations. It’s great stuff, smart and engaging, and best of all, the app is free from the iTunes store!

Page from the Huffington. iPad app
Illustration: Oliver Munday
Creative director: Josh Klenert

You can get Huffington. here.

Yesterday we posted a set of covers from the Huffington. iPad app. Today we’ve got some inside pages and illustrations. It’s great stuff, smart and engaging, and best of all, the app is free from the iTunes store!