Rogers Media is likely the largest magazine publisher in Canada and they have pulled all of their digital editions out of Zinio. Rogers intends on launching their own Netflix-like app, called Next Issue magazine that will provide access to all of its magazines as well as dozens of high-profile American titles for a monthly fee. Rogers insists the decision to pull its titles from Zinio was not their own, and referred inquiries to trade association Magazines Canada.
Zinio has been inroads in distributing their digital magazines all over Canada and the US by way of Recorded Books. Recently Zinio started offering back-issues available to be purchased, instead of just the most recent issue. The Toronto Public Library trumpeted their relationship earlier this fall, saying the digital magazines were extremely popular, with about 55,000 copies checked out in since June. Many libraries are voicing their disdain about the whole situation.
Next Issue grew out of a joint venture started in 2009 by U.S. publishers Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time Inc. It provides subscribers with access to around 100 monthly magazines for $9.99 a month or both monthly and weekly publications for $14.99. Rogers’s Next Issue Canada service has adopted the same pricing as the U.S. service: $9.99 a month for monthly publications and $14.99 a month for monthly and weekly publications.
Libraries may not have the large selection of Canadian titles via Zinio as they had before, but there is silver lining. In January, Magazines Canada is rolling out Canada’s Magazine Store, promoted on its website as a “one-stop shop for all member titles.” The association states that its “relationship with digital circulation suppliers is changing, including our Zinio-based program.” It sure looks like Zinio is starting to get phased out and their one time allies are turning into direct competitors.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.