Digital magazines presented a slight conundrum to the publishing industry when they first became available on the high-color and easily manipulated tablets. While limited titles were available in the days of slow-to-load black-and-white e-readers, the pictures that so many readers loved–and advertisers relied on in order to be convinced to foot the bill for production–proved to be problematic. Once tablets came on the scene, a limited number of publishers were ready to take advantage of the technology.
Unfortunately, it seems like the rest of the publishing industry quickly followed the leaders. A host of apps and subscriptions services have made magazines discovery in the app stores and virtual newsstands almost as much of a problem as it is for books.
New enhancements and algorithms in Apple’s Newsstand are at work to change that, though. An article by Allison Reber for The Guardian points out that the interactivity associated with many of the top selling digital magazines–with features like embedded video and hyperlinks and the ability to shop within the magazine for products that are mentioned–have helped boost those titles into positions of more prominence. Incorporating push notifications is also important, according to Reber, as they help turn readers into customers within the app. Those in-app purchases add up and get Apple’s attention.
Reber went on to mention other factors that can play a role in magazine discovery and some suggestions Apple can integrate into its Newsstand, but readily pointed out that reviews–as in all things consumer-related, especially where reading material is concerned–can make or break an app in the blink of an eye.