Apple is getting into the magazine game by opening its very own Newsstand. This is a new way for publishers to deliver magazine content via Apples extensive distribution platform. The new service is set to be unveiled this week and will more then likely be apart of the Apple Press conference.
Apple newsstand is apart of the new iOS 5 update and will be on your devices main home screen. This will allow you to subscribe to single issues or open up subscriptions and be automatically billed via Apples system.
When you subscribe to newspapers or magazines new issues you subscribe to will automatically be downloaded in the background while you do other things. This will insure when you want to read the latest issue you do not have to manually download anything, it will all occur automatically.
You can shop for new content within the application itself and will also have a dedicated section in the App Store. You will be able to search by categories, top selling and other features that should present viable options to you, even if you are just randomly looking around.
Major publishers such as Condé Nast and Hearst will be offering their wide selection of magazines on the system and should give Barnes and Noble a run for their money. One of the main selling points of the Nook Color was the unbridled ability to tap into one of the latest ecosystems of magazine offers anywhere. The Apple Newsstand will be directly competiting against them and presenting their digital content also in full color.
This might give a new lease on life for Apple as many book and magazine publishers have flocked away to greener pastures when it mandated everyone fall in line with their new subscription method. Apple demanded everyone purchase content through its own iTunes store and garnering 30% of every transaction. This has promoted the Financial Times, Amazon and Kobo to develop HTML5 based web applications that allow you to bypass Apples system.
It is unknown on the exact financial particulars Apple is offering magazine publishers for the Newsstand project. We will follow this and let you know more as it develops.
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.