Pressreader

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A number of years ago when the iPad became popular, the digital magazine scene was bright and vibrant. A number of companies were leading the download charts and inclusive apps that gave you access to hundreds of publications became standard.  When Apple unveiled their Newsstand, companies started developing their own apps to offer unique experiences. Instead of relying on companies like Zinio for distribution, they decided to do it themselves. One of the last magazine companies still standing is PressReader and they just hit a major milestone.

PressReader has just announced that they have they have attained 1,000 magazines.  Condé Nast International France has joined PressReader, adding favorite titles – including Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ and Glamour – to their growing list of  top publications like T3, Martha Stewart Living, Men’s Health, Inside Golf, Elle Italia and many more.

In terms of digital magazine distribution, PressReader does things a little bit differently than their competition. On the consumer level they sell a subscription package that gives customers access to over 3,500 newspapers and magazines from 100 countries in 80 different languages.  Instead of paying per issue, you can basically read and download as much as you want for a low monthly price. The company also leverages their portfolio directly to libraries, airlines, cruise ships and hotels.

Most of the digital players still in the game normally use proxy services when they market their treasure trove of content to libraries or other sectors. Zinio for example deals with Recorded Books to market their content to libraries, whereas Next Issue and Magzter simply focuses on consumers and not B2B.

I think the one thing PressReader has done really well is establish a strong branding message, no matter what space they are selling magazines and newspapers in. They do everything themselves, without having to lean on 3rd parties to do the marketing for them.

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The Maritime industry is not the first thing you would think of when the conversation of digital books and newspapers comes up. There are over 70,000 cruise, cargo, oil rigs and military vessels in operation globally. The vast majority of staff that keep these operations running properly are workers from the Philippines, Malaysia, Russia and India. Many of the corporations that bankroll everything are putting a new emphasis on crew welfare and retention by investing in digital.

Commercial vessels really need to keep their crew entertained so they don’t jump ship to the competition. Companies spend a lot of money training them and are heavily invested in keeping them happy. Sadly, in a world full of streaming movies and audio services, it doesn’t work when it comes to being entertained on the high seas. If the crew wants to download small bits of content they have to insure their parent company is dealing with satellite internet providers such as VSAT and IMTECH. Internet access is purchased in blocks, where ships have very specific limits on how much data is available. In order to download eBooks, magazines or newspapers they have to be accessed in off-peak hours, when the internet is more reliable and not congested. Satellite obviously, is not indicative to downloading lots of content and new companies are meeting the challenge with innovative solutions.

If you are a crewman on a military submarine or apart of the US Air Force, your options to access leisure content is severely hampered. Internet access is certainly not the norm, due to security concerns, which traditionally made reading eBooks unfeasible. This has prompted the US Navy and Air Face to partner with Findaway World for the NERD and Aero e-Readers. The devices are shipped out with hundreds of eBooks and audiobook titles. There is no USB port or wireless internet access, so they are about as locked down as you can get.

The US Navy also has established ties with Overdrive since 2007 for their Knowledge Online initiative. There is currently 400 titles, with heavy emphasis on foreign language and graphic novels. Foreign language learning audio books are consistently one of the highest circulating subjects in the Navy’s collection, and the addition of eBooks in more than 10 languages was highly anticipated. Popular graphic novels, such as “The Time Machine” from Stone Arch books, and best-selling “Dummies” books for investing, grant writing, and small business, are also available to download.

Vancouver based PressReader currently has a catalog of over 3,000 newspapers and magazines. They have developed a new offline system that will allow vessels to download content in non-peak hours and distribute it to smartphones and tablets via a shipwide WIFI network. Maritime companies are starting to select publications that are relevant to the nationalities of their workers and getting the top three or four titles from those countries. This would allow a boatswain from the Philippines to get free access to the Manila Times, UNO Magazine, and Daily Inquirer to read at their leisure. Providing perks like free newspapers and magazines gives workers and officers a taste of home, without having to spend any of their own money, its the corporate cash after all that pays for it.

Getting your staff to read safety guides, regulations, weather reports and orientation information is a trial and tribulation. The print editions are often destroyed in the heat and humidity or easily get lost. This has given digital distribution a new emphasis, and PressReader Offline supports the ability for companies to upload their documents in PDF form, to be downloaded to tablets and phones on-demand.

The entire commercial maritime industry and military is trying to take advantage of the digital revolution. Crew are normally aboard for months at a time and things can get rather tedious. Can you imagine if you had the same 100 song playlist on repeat for months at a time? No matter how cool it is, it gets redundant. This is why everyone is turning to e-Books, digital magazines and newspapers to break the tedium.

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PressReader is the largest digital newspaper and magazine system in the world and has millions of users. The company is making it easier for travelers to download the content they love, without having to use their data plan with the advent of the new Hotspot Mapping system.

There is some big benefits to this new hotspot program for travelers. They can choose a hotel  based on which of them give free complimentary access away. This is useful if they want to read their favorite local paper, even if they are thousand of miles away. In addition, locals can connect up to the hotspot and download free publications using the free PressReader app for Android or iOS. Unlike videos, once the content is downloaded to your device, you can read it beyond the hotspot.

PressReader outlined how their service works in an email to Good e-Reader “The PressReader HotSpots allow users to gain complimentary access to our product while they are connected a location’s WiFi, which is excellent value for them because they are able to access a service that typically costs $29.95 a month as a consumer. The value for businesses is that they can use it as a marketing tool to attract visitors to their location and encourage them to stay longer. They really don’t have much to do with data costs, though – it’s not WiFi access we’re showing on the map, it’s sponsored PressReader access.”

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Golden Trump

Trump Hotels has announced they are scaling back leaving newspapers outside guests rooms every morning. The company intends on making them exclusively available by request only and will be moving forwards digital distribution.

PressReader and Trump Hotels have come to an agreement to have digital newspapers available to their guests. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and 2,500 other publications are currently available. 

To access the service, guests can connect their personal laptop, tablet or smartphone to the hotel’s Wi-Fi network and go to PressReader.com or launch the PressReader mobile app for phones and tablets. Users can then download the full edition of their selected title and even continue to read it after departing the hotel.

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The largest digital newspaper distributor PressReader has just updated their flagship app for the iPad and iPhone. The new update brings hundreds of top stories that you can read for free without having to to subscribe. The interface has also been redesigned with a swipeable carousel filled with popular titles based on your country and easy access to digital magazines.

PressReader used to be known as NewsPaperDirect and recently underwent a dramatic rebranding process. The company has been investing a copious amount of time and energy on their web-presence and now we are starting to see their line of apps getting new functionality. PressReader have always put an emphasis on newspapers, but with their app update they have magazines right on the home screen now. They currently have over 600 domestic and international editions to subscribe to and over 2000 newspapers from every major country in the world.

The new app is very intuitive and gives users three full downloads of any newspaper they want to checkout. Unlike most newspapers you find online in the Amazon App Store or the Apple Newsstand, PressReader gives you a full replica edition. This insures that you will have local advertisements, classifieds and a preserved layout that is true to the physical copy. When you open a title you can click on the headlines and get a very e-reader friendly version of the story. You can enhance the size of the font or change it entirely, which appeals to people who have vision problems.

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The new Home Feed allows readers to select the country they want to pull major news stories from and customize their own experience. It automatically detect your geographic location but you can manually select most countries. The content is pulled from important publications such as the New York Times, Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, The Telegraph and many more. One of the things I like about it, is the international flavor in the featured news items.

By default, the news service pulls all sorts of stories from the thousands of newspapers in which the articles derive. You can refine your tastes and just look at Business, Entertainment, Sports, Editorial, and Readers Choice.

I think this app update has been a longtime in the making. Seldom when you download an update on iOS do you expect a totally new unique experience. Every aspect of the UI has been tweaked and there are a ton of free content now to check out.

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PressReader is the leading player in the digital newspaper space with thousands of international editions available on a all you can read basis. The company is not that well known in the magazine space, with only a few hundred in their portfolio. Today, PressReader has signed a deal with UK based Future to incorporate over 50 new titles into their library.

Future won Digital Publisher of the year in the UK for 2013 and has a number of great properties. Some of the most notable include PC Gamer, T3, and Edge Magazine, which have a massive subscriber base. By joining the PressReader network, Future will benefit from the additional international exposure through PressReader’s established global business channels that include over 15,000 hotels, libraries, airlines, airport lounges and cruise ships from around the world.

“We are excited to partner with such a well-respected international media brand as Future Publishing Limited and to be able to offer our readers an expanded collection of special interest content.” said Nikolay Malyarov, chief content officer for PressReader. “Because of our rapid expansion into new markets and business verticals, we are focused on diversifying our content and growing our selection of magazines and newspapers to attract a wider audience with a variety of interests.”

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PressReader has unveiled a new service on their main website that gives readers news from around the world. Basically, what it does is pull content from every major newspaper in the PressReader network and gives readers the ability to read headlines and then pull up a feature story.  It is a new way for people on the go to read bite sized news snippets and the responsive design can be viewed on tablets, phones and computers.

The News section on PressReader.com allows readers to select the country they want to pull major news stories from and customize their own experience. By default, it is automatically detect your geographic location, such as the USA and contributing newspapers would include; New York Times, Daily Mail, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, The Telegraph and many more. One of the things I like about it, is the international flavor in the featured news items.

By default, the news service pulls all sorts of stories from the thousands of newspapers in which the articles derive. You can refine your tastes and just look at Business, Entertainment, Sports, Editorial, and Readers Choice.

One of the more compelling aspects of the unlimited news service is the responsive design. It looks good on smartphones and tablets, mainly because it optimizes itself to whatever screen you are using. If you are finding the text is too small, there are options to increase it and also change the font-type. If you speak a different language the papers can be auto translated on the fly, which is quite handy.

PressReader is going to be implementing this web-only service into their main PressReader Newspaper app in March. The company is betting big on curated content, which is free, in a bid to get more people using their subscription based service.


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If you are into digital newspapers you are likely familiar with PressReader. The company has over 3,000 newspapers in over 80 different countries and has dedicated reading apps for iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Blackberry. The apps have always simply been known as PressReader and today the company is undergoing a rebranding campaign to gravitate away from Newspaper Direct and simply be known as PressReader.

PressReader is mainly known on the consumer level by offering a monthly subscription to read all of the newspapers you want. If a subscription isn’t your thing it is quite easy to just buy them on a singular basis. PressReaders success can be attributed to preserving the traditional printed newspaper experience in digital format. You have your Sunday funnies, crosswords, obituaries, localized adverts, and trading corner. Many people find its easier to gravitate towards the digital medium that mirrors print. This is PressReader’s core strength: not to simply give you a PDF, but to add its own twists to each issue. Users have the ability to augment text sizes, comment on articles, Tweet, or just strip away all of the CSS elements to give you raw text, which is easier on the eyes on smaller screen devices.

One feature about the app that many people are really digging is called “smartflow.” It basically allows you to endlessly scroll from article to article by simply using the standard page turn mechanism.  When you are done reading an article the next one is immediately visible and often starts as the one you are currently reading is done.  Most newspapers only show you the article you clicked on and then forces you to exit the story and pick a new one out.

PressReader continues to focus on the average end users that are hungry for news, but has been quite aggressive about getting their content distribution system into hotels, cruise ships and airlines. In recent weeks they signed a deal with Trump Hotels to have newspapers available to their guests on any device they have. They also got River Cruises to give customers a chance to read their local paper when trailblazing all over Europe.

The name change makes sense, the vast majority of iOS, Android and Blackberry users have always thought their name was PressReader anyways, because its the name of their flagship app. They have updated their main corporate website and it actually looks fairly slick with HTML5 and CSS3 elements. Their entire fleet of apps will be similarly updated in Q1 2013 and will give readers a better experience.

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NewspaperDirect announced more than 50 titles from Singapore Press Holding Magazines will now be available via PressReader as well as its online site, PressDisplay.com. PressReader is already considered the world’s largest publication kiosk app, which no doubt will get a further boost to its appeal now that it has 50 more publications in its catalog from a publisher as prestigious as SPH. In fact, it is a win-win situation for both ND and SPH, as the new deal will ensure SPH magazines now have a world audience and won’t be limited to just Singapore and the region. Instead, its magazines will now be available in more than 12,000 libraries around the world thanks to the deal with ND; SPH magazines will also end up in countless other hotels, offices, cruise ships, and airlines due to its tie-up with ND.

“We are committed to offering our readers and channel partners the very best magazine and newspaper content from around the world,” said Nikolay Malyarov, vice president of Publishing and Legal Affairs at NewspaperDirect. “SPH Magazines’ publications will not only delight our subscribers, they will open untapped markets for the publisher, allowing them to instantly reach millions of new readers through our large and growing library, hospitality, marine, and aviation segments.”

The magazines offered include Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Golf Digest, Harper’s BAZAAR, Seventeen, CLEO, Home & Décor, Her World, Female, and Shape, just to name a few. All of the magazines will be available to subscribers of PressDirect.com and PressReader, and can be read on PCs, smartphones, Mac computers, tablet devices, or ebook readers. The publications are compatible with iOS, Android, Android for Amazon, Windows 8, and BlackBerry 10 platforms.

“Our vision to engage minds and enrich lives across multiple languages and platforms inspires us to continually strive to give our magazine subscribers a superior reading experience,” said Joseph Lee, managing director, New Media at SPH. “NewspaperDirect shares our vision and has the innovative technology and market leadership we need to showcase our publications to more readers around the globe.”

Singapore Press Holding is considered to be among the leading publishers from the Southeast Asian region and is known for eye catching magazine design themes as well as rich editorial content. It has been a publishing partner of NewspaperDirect since 2007 and the inclusion of the titles to the kiosk app is the outcome of SPH’s strategy to have a bigger media foot print in the world.

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Traditional publishing companies that focus on newspapers and magazines have been embracing digital over the course of the last few years. In some cases, we are seeing the digital editions outselling their printed counterparts. However, maintaining a fleet of Android and iOS apps can be taxing with all of the different screen size requirements. Many smaller publications are finding it economically unfeasible to develop and maintain dedicated apps. To solve this problem Microsoft and NewspaperDirect have developed a Windows 8 App Building Program, aimed exclusively at magazine and newspaper publishers.

The new App Building program allows publishers to maintain and develop their own native Windows 8 application. It incorporates the same type of technology that PressReader uses by streamlining XML and graphic heavy content. It will allow publishers to maintain a replica edition of their traditional print edition and convert it to a more e-reader and tablet friendly format. Users can click on the heading of of any given article and be able to strip away the superfluous data and give the user pure text. This is useful for increasing the size of the font or even adopting a read aloud feature.

Shane Davies, Director, Cloud Services Providers & Top Consumer Brands at Microsoft Canada said, “The growth in the popularity of Windows 8 reflects the shift in how people want to experience content across devices. Brands are already starting to get up close and personal with audiences in real time, on a global scale. NewspaperDirect, a leader in magazine and newspaper applications, and the launch of their Windows 8 app platform, will provide a platform for publishers to reach and engage their audience in compelling ways, and will provide consumers with a range of quality, brand name applications.”

Publishers utilizing the new program will not have to go it alone. One of the benefits of the existing relationship between NewspaperDirect and Microsoft is the synergy that will be bestowed upon new publications. There is an advertising initiative in place that will give publishers the ability to get preferential placement in the Windows 8 App Store, in their regional markets.

Most small town publishers and emerging magazine companies could benefit from these new tools. It will be interesting to see if more indie companies take advantage of something like this, seeing as it requires little effort to produce each daily/monthly issue, once you have the pipeline established.

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PressReader has had a storied relationship with Blackberry, with the entire line of Playbook tablets having the newspaper app bundled on all units. NewspaperDirect has been fairly supportive of the entire Blackberry ecosystem and has debuted a new native app for BB10.

PressReader for BB10 allows customers to have replica editions synced to Blackberry HUB, to give you notifications on when new issues are available. BlackBerry 10 customers can download the re-engineered PressReader app from BlackBerry World and their favorite publications from a growing list of more than 2,300 digital replicas of newspapers and magazines from 100 countries and in 56 languages, including the International Herald Tribune, The Australian, The Globe and Mail, and Le Monde.

Replica newspapers are something PressReader specializes in. The app provides an exact mirror of the printed version, including classifieds, obituaries, Sunday funnies, and localized advertising. The BB10 version allows you to click on the article name and get a pure text version of it, stripping away all of the superfluous images and CSS data.

“NewspaperDirect is delighted to release a new optimized version of PressReader for BlackBerry 10 smartphones,” said Alex Kroogman, CEO of NewspaperDirect. “Not only will BlackBerry 10 owners be amazed at the vast selection of magazines and newspapers suddenly at their fingertips, our publishing partners will benefit from having their content instantly available to all BlackBerry 10 users.”

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NewspaperDirect has just inked a deal with DTI Solutions to offer digital newspapers on all flights with the Flydubai airline. Starting today, over 45 replica newspapers will be available on flights through DTI Solutions’ industry leading in-flight software solution: e-readers.

Patrick Préfontaine, president of DTI Solutions, said: “We’re delighted to have helped flydubai achieve this historic project. We truly believe that eReader solutions are strategic for airlines to provide passengers with relevant and engaging content, while benefiting from the noted advantages of digital content such as weight and cost reductions compared to paper-based media onboard.”

Flydubai’s Chief Executive Officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith , explains: “Daily news consumption trends have shifted since the introduction of smartphones and personal electronic devices, and passengers now expect to be able to read their favorite newspapers electronically on board. Offering daily newspaper updates digitally is a real logistical challenge for airlines, and flydubai is proud to be the first to provide this enhanced passenger experience.”

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NEWSPAPERDIRECT SMARTEDITION

The Toronto Star is one of Ontario’s most prominent newspapers and is gravitating towards the digital realm. Their new replica version basically just mirrors the print edition, complete with local adverts, television listings, and other localized content. It is available today on PressReader and e-readers, such as the Kobo Vox.

“Paywalls are becoming a popular way for publishers to offset lower online advertising revenues, but it’s only half the equation,” said Nikolay Malyarov , vice president of publishing and legal affairs at NewspaperDirect. “Our publishing partners recognize that focusing on core competencies is a proven strategy for managing costs, which is why more than 1,000 of them have chosen SmartEdition technology for their digital editions and PressReader for their applications. This strategy not only saves them money, it adds value to their bundles, giving readers all the quality content of the printed edition, enhanced with powerful digital features, on their device of choice.”

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