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Entries in Publishing (1)


Tablet Magazines: Fail?

This piece by Jon Lund in GigaOM (". . . emerging technologies and the disruption of media") presents that the app-based tablet magazine is a failure: 

Why tablet magazines are a failure

SUMMARY: Dedicated magazine apps for tablets may look good, but I fear they’re headed straight to oblivion.

“We’re starting a new magazine,” the entrepreneur told me. “We have a potent niche to cover, and advertisers are dying for us to deliver interactive ads.”

Another woman I met with wanted to launch a tablet magazine about renewable energy. “It’s global and I have all the right connections to get it out there,” she said. “And I’ve found an out-of-the-box software solution to power it.”

Both projects impressed me. From an editorial point of view, they both nailed it. The entrepreneurs’ energy was great. A few years ago I would have been all in with them.

Today, though, my mind has changed. I fear the app-based tablet approach to magazines leads straight to oblivion, at least for individual magazine titles.

Not that tablets aren’t suited for reading. I discover most of the articles I read every day through my favorite iPad apps: Zite, Flipboard, Facebook and Twitter. These apps don’t produce any content themselves. They’re merely curating what’s already out there. My dedicated magazine apps, on the other hand, have been lost among the many other apps on my iPad. I never read them, even those I pay monthly subscription fees for. Here’s why.

See the article link for more about the reasons -- 

  • People actually use just a handful of the apps on their tablets; individual magazine apps are no among them 
  • Individual magazine apps get lost in the larger and broader stream of information 
  • The apps themselves are too fussy 
  • They just don't sell 

This has been my own experience; I find myself rarely reading individual "magazines" via dedicated apps versus content that is published on the general web.