ThisNext originally rolled out Glossi in December, which is a platform that allows people to DIY publish magazines. There is no shortage of online ebook creation programs, but magazines is something that really hasn’t been done before. We caught up with Glossi CEO Matt Edelman, who is spearheading this new endeavor alongside 12 other people. Before taking over the reigns of Glossi, he was in charge of Marvel’s Entertainment division.
In the last month and half of launching, Glossi has seen thousands of self-published magazines. The platform allows users to add pictures, audio, video, and now animated GIF files. Matt told us about some users creating the Daily Prophet from Harry Potter, with animated files on the front page.
Right now, Glossi creators can embed their digital magazines and DIY projects into their websites, blogs, and other platforms. The company is going to be rolling out a ton of new features in the next few months that will allow for the exporting of the files into EPUB3. This will allow people to distribute their magazines to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks. Users will also be able to monetize their content and sell it through those bookstores, and free content will have support for advertising to make long-term revenue.
Digital Magazines are nothing new, and many companies like Zinio take publishers’ Adobe InDesign Files and convert it through their software to provide the same reading experience from magazine to magazine. Glossi sees a bright future in a pure digital format, because it allows for media integration. Some companies are even using the Glossi platform as a way to generate digital promotional content for their print issues.
Glossi is seeing a crazy amount of success early on, and is now eclipsing their parent company. Movements are being made on the business level to rename Thisnext into Glossi, and focus on this digital platform full-time. One of the big reasons the platform caught on so fast was because of the established resources ThisNext had at its disposal. Instead of running around and fishing for VC financing, the company was able to woo existing investors and tap into a consistent revenue stream. This allowed Matt to focus on creating a business instead of just an app. The majority of new users to the platform are coming from social media systems, such as Facebook and Twitter.
I think Glossi has stumbled upon a new magazine creation platforms that harkens back to the days of indie zine culture. It allows anyone with an image gallery to make visually appealing content and share it for free. The company is poised to introduce tons of new features this year and is one to watch in 2013.