Archive for Digital Magazine News
Wargaming earned close to 219 million dollars in 2012 with its seminal World of Tanks franchise. The company has since expanded into World of Airplanes and World of Battleships. Customers gravitate towards this multi-player simulation because of its historical accuracy. The company is transcending gaming and launching a new digital magazine for iOS and Android.
The new digital magazine called Lets Battle will focus on the companies various properties and put a special emphasis on the history of military warfare. One of the cool aspects of Wargaming is that when they develop new tanks, they often send a team down to many different countries to actually drive it around and get a feel for the handling. Obviously the entire crew at Wargaming is big into military history and this magazine may have a wider appeal.
“We are always looking for new ways to engage gamers with the content and projects we are creating,” said Alexander Shilyaev, Director of Global Operations for Meta Games and Service Apps at Wargaming. “With the digital magazine, we’ll be able to provide more coverage than ever to our player community, creating and molding our publications to fit the needs of a tech-savvy generation of modern gamers and military enthusiasts worldwide.”
You can download the new Wargaming Magazine from the Good e-Reader App Store for Android.
Flipboard is currently one of the most popular online news reading apps and the company has been gaining massive traction over the past few years. In order to facilitate further growth the company has bought out one of their competitors, Zite.
Zite was formerly owned by CNN, who had paid $25 million for it back in 2011. CNN Money proclaimed that the buyout figure from Flipboard was to be in the neighbourhood of $60 million.
Flipboard founder Mike McCue said that the partnership with CNN will include all of CNN Digital’s content. We will also see the launch of heavily customized magazines created by a number of CNN personalities — including Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King of CNN News. Those magazines are poised to go live later today.
Flipboard is also inking a new premium advertising partnership, “the kind of advertising you see in print magazines,” CNN’s head of digital KC Estenson said. CNN and Flipboard will be jointly selling ads for the CNN content. “We’ve been developing a healthy relationship.”
In the wake of Facebook launching their news reading app “Paper“, Flipboard has been ramping up its effort with publishing partners and advertisers. Flipboard has secured a new deal with Condé Nast to give titles such as Bon Appétit, Details, Glamour, Golf Digest, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Flipboard also has a great relationship with The New York Times, The Telegraph, Forbes, Esquire, Fast Company, Oprah, and Lonely Planet.
CNN is a victim of big media trying to run a news app. They simply could not innovate internally to make Zite a compelling enough service to give its serious rivals a run for their money. Flipboard puts the executioners axe to another competitor and is able to now harvest their original content to integrate it into their own service.
As device consumption among consumers continues to grow and more readers rely on their tablets and smartphones for digital reading, the number of available titles also continues to grow. What many consumers may not be aware of, however, is the power behind their digital magazines, newspapers, enhanced ebooks, and more: Adobe.
Known for its Digital Publishing Suite that is used by a variety of publishers to create digital content for device consumption, Adobe announced today that it’s merging the capabilities of DPS with another of its popular publishing tools, the Adobe Experience Manager. This combination will allow content developers to enjoy an even more streamlined workflow with an ease of use factor that reduce the need for graphic artists to generate all of the layout.
Adobe’s Lynly Schambers Lennox and Colin Fleming spoke with Good e-Reader about the implications of how this level of product integration can be a game changer for companies who are investigating or even currently utilizing Adobe’s tools for content publication.
“With these two solutions combined, we’re offering a really powerful multi-channel publishing solution for rapidly publishing content to mobile devices,” explained Schambers Lennox. “Adobe Experience Manager allows users to organize, create, and manage the delivery creative assets from a single location and push them out to website, mobile websites, email campaigns, social sites, and of course, mobile applications using Digital Publishing Suite.”
This integration will not only save time and money for the content developers as they work to reach their consumer audiences, but more importantly, companies using the combined workflow of DPS and Experience Manager can maintain a strong sense of unity within their brands and their materials. By simply moving content through both tools, that brand recognition can easily be kept consistent.
Digital magazine distribution is a growing business with players such as Zinio, PressReader, Magzster vying for market position. Readly is a growing force in Europe with a home base in Sweden and has now expanded into the UK for £9.99 per month.
Readly first setup shop in Sweden in 2012 and has released apps for Windows 8, iOS and Android. The move into the UK comes at an opportune time as the Professional Publishers Association state that digital magazines only account for 2% of the industry. These are figures that should rapidly accelerate with more players entering the market.
The United Kingdom initiative is being spearheaded by Ranj Begley who was the most logical choice for the job. She has an extensive network of contacts in the publishing industry and has spent the last month building a small team. She was the Client Services Director at Dovetail Fulfilment for eight years where she looked after major publishers and grew Dovetail’ client base by 60%. Readly basically hoped to leverage her connections and grow their business in the UK.
Recorded Books started out in 1979, heavily investing themselves into the library space. They currently have a catalog of 13,500 audiobook titles that they market to libraries and retail customers. They also own a UK audiobook company which helps contribute further assets. Recently, the company was sold to Wasserstein & Co to help with the cash flow. Really, what this mean for the future of Zinio and Recorded Books?
Recorded Books helped digital magazine subscription service Zinio enter the library space. Zinio has really just focused on selling magazines directly to customers, but this is often a fickle business proposition. Recorded Books basically leveraged their existing base of library contacts to help market hundreds of magazines, in addition to their audiobooks and 100,000 eBooks, via the OneClickDigital platform.
The deal with Wasserstein was made to tap into a serious cashflow to help the company compete against Overdrive, 3M Cloud Library and Axis360. Recorded Books needed to refinance to expand their reach and help market their services. They sorely need it, as Overdrive has usurped their position in the marketplace by offering everything Recorded Books does, but providing a very slick UI and backend tools for libraries to manage and purchase collections.
In order for Recorded Books to be a viable business proposition going forward they will have to establish more relations with publishers to enhance their eBook catalog. During the last few months they got Random House as a partner and hope to woo the other publishers who deal with the competition. They also need to expand their distribution for movies and streaming video to market to libraries.
Recorded Books and key Zinio executives formed a relationship with IndieFlix, which is a subscription based video streaming service. It basically showcases documentaries and indie films, which is quite different from mainstream catalogs offered by Overdrive. Past and present employees of Zinio and Recorded Books sit on the board of directors at IndieFlix and hope to help their business grow and also get their videos into the Recorded Books platform.
Zinio is a company in a state of flux and the future looks uncertain. They used to do brisk business in the Apple App Store when the iPad originally came out. They remained in the top ten for a number of years until Apple launched their own Newsstand. Within a few years Amazon, Google, Apple, Rogers Media, Magzter and PressReader all started offering competitive digital magazine subscription platforms. Zinio has seen diminished market share because of this and now relies on Recorded Books to distribute their catalog of content to libraries and schools. In 2012, at the height of the downward trend, Zinio explored the option of selling itself, but decided to weather the storm.
Recorded Books in the near future will be able to offer libraries a very compelling package of content, that only Overdrive can match. They have audiobooks, eBooks and magazines. Video is the only thing they are missing, as well as a more intuitive set of tools that ties into libraries ILS systems. The much needed cash injection should keep them going into the near-future, but they really need to do some key things to stay profitable.
Facebook Paper is a USA only app and was released last week. It has two main components, part a total revision of the core Facebook experience and a news app. Today, Good e-Reader checks out what this app is all about and gives you a sense on whether or not it is a good install.
Every time Facebook initiates a design change on their main website, it often polarises the community. Some herald each change with advancement in the platform, but the vast majority just complains about it. Facebook Paper gives a 2014 upgrade to the core experience and is exclusively optimized for the iPhone.
Status updates, pictures, video are the core aspects that makes Facebook stand out in the crowd. The company has revised their approach into the popular “cards” interface. Each card is the same size and all of your friends activity are listed there. If you click on one, you get the full screen view, such as an article they posted. You can then gesture to the right to automatically scroll to the next story.
The interface takes a bit getting used to. There is seldom any pinching and zooming features, and no navigation keys. Instead, if you long-press the top of the screen and drag your finger down, you will get some options, such as Create Post, Edit Sections, and Settings.
The main draw of Paper is the news functionality. It follows the popular curated aspect of news, with Facebook selecting popular news outlets and featuring their top stories. Other news journalists draw parallels with Flipboard or Pulse, but really Facebook is more akin to the new Yahoo News App. The curation aspect gives you simple, yet essential stories. If you like technology, they tend to give you Verge, Engadget, or Re/Code. There is no way to add in a custom feed or input your own list of websites.
One of the big problems with Facebook Paper is when you don’t use it for a day or two. When you fire up the app the cards initially load up the old data, but then scroll super fast from where you were, to the latest updates. It is a very jarring experience and one of the current downfalls of the app, but it should hopefully be fixed soon.
I have no problem with news curation, giving you a fixed list of stories from various genres. The main problem, is most of the news outlets are owned by various interests. Engadget is owned by AOL, Re/Code partnered with CNBC. You will seldom get a pure independent news outlet giving you riveting or compelling opinions.
A new move towards broader open access has made over one and a half million journal articles free for public use through UK libraries. In a pilot program called Access to Research that is partly being powered free of cost by ProQuest’s search capabilities, the public can now access these articles and conference presentations through their libraries.
According to a press release, “Access to Research will provide licensed online access to over 1.5 million journal articles and conference proceedings through library terminals. With 8,400 journals included in the initiative at the moment, this will make content in the fields of Health and Biological Sciences (20%), Social Sciences (18%) and Engineering (14%) available to the public for the first time. Users will also be able to read a wide variety of articles in the fields of Art & Architecture, Business, Environmental Science, History, Journalism, Languages, Politics, Film, Philosophy and Religion, Mathematics and Physics.”
Over 8,700 different journals will have content included in the initiative, content that is published by ALPSP, Bloomsbury Publishing, Cambridge University Press, Dove Press, Elsevier, Emerald, IOP Publishing, Nature Publishing Group, Oxford University Press, Portland Press, SAGE Publications, Science Reviews 2000 Ltd., Springer, Taylor & Francis, Versita, Wiley, Wolters Kluwer Health. A number of library and publishers associations are also invested in the project, which will run for two years in pilot stage to gauge the use and interest from the public.
While students, small businesses, and independent researchers are expected to be the major consumers of these mountains of content, this is a bold first move in helping civic leaders, publishers, and citizens see the value of open access, an often hotly contested topic especially where government funded and published research findings are concerned.
Opinions may vary on the topic, but–for better or worse–digital publishing has meant a never-before-seen amount of content. Whether it’s ebook overload, the nearly impossible search features in many app stores, or the piles upon piles of digital magazines, readers can often feel so overwhelmed that they simply stop engaging with the content.
Flipboard, which first came on the publishing startup scene several years ago, has found that curation is what its readers want. By creating a more magazine-like feel to its new features, the content driver will help readers sort through stories to only those that target their key interests.
One such feature is the new Cover Stories, which allows users to bring only the top stories on a given topic together from their subscriptions, as well as opt to bring top stories from only certain selected news sources. Like the popular Twitter papers, this screen allows users to see headlines on a similar topic, as well as headlines from their favorite subscriptions.
This lumping-together of content based on user criteria is designed to combat one of the chief complaints that digital reading subscribers have, namely that they are drowning in a never ending amount of content. A user could spend hours every day wading through streams of digital news stories, only to find the process repeated the following day. By bringing together the highlights while still affording readers the ability to tap into longer articles, more consumers can feel as though they are getting real value from their digital subscriptions instead of letting the data fall by the wayside.
This new feature adds to the existing ability consumers have always enjoyed to basically create their own personalized magazines through the content they subscribe to, as well as adding content directly from the web with the Bookmarklet plugin.
Magzter is one of the largest digital magazine ecosystems in the world. They are absolutely killing it on the Apple Newsstand, with seven hundred of the 4,000 magazines listed are created by Magzter. The India based company is looking to leverage their extensive portfolio of 1,800 magazines in a bid to expand into Russia, China and Brazil.
Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan, President and Co-Founder, Magzter said “Currently, we have some presence in India but not in other BRIC nations. Apart from shoring up our presence here, Brazil, Russia and China will be our focus,” he told Business Line.
Last year Magzter signed on Hearst Magazines, a massive deal that brought the conglomerate’s 20 U.S. magazines and most of its 300 international editions to Magzter. In recent times they secured the rights to American Media’s 20 or so U.S. magazines as well, with titles like Mens’ Fitness, Shape, Star, National Inquirer, and Globe.
It will be interesting to see how Magzter handles their expansion into Russia, India and Brazil. The main hindrance is the lack of Apple products, where Magzter sees 90% of their revenue. They will have to beef up their Android apps if they hope to capitalize on markets that often suffer from the lack of high end consumer products.
The digital publishing and sharing platform Issuu who made headlines for the ability to create virtual “stacks” of content for reading and sharing, as well as for its 20,000 uploads of new content each day, announced this morning that it has released its Android app on the Google Play store.
“Today for the first time Issuu readers can carry 15 million magazines on their favorite Android device and discover content from hundreds of thousands of global publishers,” said Joe Hyrkin, CEO of Issuu. “The new app was designed from the pixels up to offer the world’s best mobile reading experience. And, with the massive depth and breadth of content on Issuu there is something for the enthusiast in everyone.”
Hyrkin sat down with Good e-Reader prior to the launch to talk about why this is an important step for content creators and readers.
“We’re launching this really amazing Android version of Issuu and it’s a huge next step for us. Now anybody who has an Android-powered tablet or phone, anywhere in the world, can dive into this world of content. We have 80 million unique visitors a month, over 15 million publications, and for the first time those publications are available at the click of a button with an Android device.
“What really matters to me and to our readers and publishers is it’s one more step that enables [publishers] to move their content to the platform. It’s shareable, embeddable, and distributable. When we talk about these 15 million publications, there’s going to be content that people are enthusiastic about within this whole spectrum of ideas.”
With the launch of the app, users can also sync their desktop or laptop reading with the device for portable consumption, as well as browse through an immense catalog of content through search features. Issuu made a name for itself early on for providing off-the-beaten path content, much of it created and uploaded by small companies who would have found that digital publishing to tablets to be prohibitively expensive. At the same time, names like Ariana Huffington are partnering with Issuu to make their content available.
“We are excited to partner with ISSUU to extend the reach of Huffington magazine to allow an even wider audience to engage with the best of The Huffington Post.” Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief Huffington Post Media Group.
Late last year Amazon refreshed their tablet lineup by offering two models with the HDX monkior. The resolution on the 8.9 and 7 are some of the best in the business and you would expect that would translate well to digital magazines. Today, Michael and Peter of Good e-Reader evaluate whether or not the Kindle Fire HDX is ideal for reading digital magazines.
When you purchase magazines through the Amazon Newsstand you will likely immediately notice some black space at the top and bottom of the magazine. This is due to aspect ratio, and you lose almost two inches of a 7 inch tablet in your viewing perspective. This really limits how much of the magazine is displayed and you will constantly find yourself pinching and zooming every single page to read the content. There is an option to make the magazine an eBook though, with a text heavy approach, which is useful.
How does the Kindle really handle magazines? Not that well, this is why Amazon never really hypes their service. Instead, they invest their marketing budget on promoting the Kindle bookstore and Amazon Instant Video.
Pulse and Flipboard remain two of the most popular reading apps for iOS and Android. They basically allow you to access your favorites sites RSS Feeds in a very intuitive and touch friendly approach. These two apps are dominating the news segment and Facebook is displeased. The social media giant is going to roll out their own news app called Paper and should be out by the end of the month.
Facebook Paper is part of a multi-year effort from the team behind the News Feed, Facebook’s rich stream of never-ending content that flows down the center of users’ pages, populated with a mix of status updates, shared news stories and paid advertising from companies. The project is being spearheaded by Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP of product.
The technology being employed by Facebook Paper is being cannibalized and repurposed from the acquisition of Push Pop Press in 2011. The company specialized in rich media reading apps and the spirit of their original vision will live on with Facebook Paper.
Not much is known about the news curation aspect of Facebook Paper, whether users will be able to have any control over the content within the app. Paper will reportedly display stories from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications in a visually appealing layout that also mixes in Facebook status updates.
Yahoo has rolled out their first dedicated news app on iOS, entitled Yahoo News Digest. The app is one of the first new ventures under the watch of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. It presents a sleek, highly visual interface that presents you with 10 or so algorithmically generated news stories from Yahoo’s network, twice a day: once in the morning, and once in the evening. The new service is designed to mimic the way newspapers approach the morning and evening editions.
Yahoo News Digest is a product of tech acquired by startup Summly. It was shut down last March when it was sold to Yahoo for thirty million dollars. The 17 year old developer Nick D’Aloisio went to the London office of Yahoo and started work on the Yahoo iteration. In a conversation with the Verge, he mentioned “People have this information overload,” he says. “They’re checking too many sources. They’re a bit tired of having to go through streams and streams of information, never having a sense of completion.”
Yahoo will be doing battle against apps such as Flipboard, Pulse and services such as Google News. Instead of giving a million different stories they are giving curated content from their extended network.
Many industry experts are saying that the News Digest App is on the same level as Yahoo Weather, as being well designed and intuitive to use. Yahoo is hoping to level some of the 400 million mobile monthly users they reported to have last year and 800 million global users overall.