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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Happy Christmas

I'd like to wish all readers a very happy Christmas. Hope you can keep away from your screens for a few days !!

Back online in January.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Hard to Digest

Friend of the terminally unemployed and perennial draft excluder Readers Digest is going digital.

Zinio will be producing the digital copies, but before you get too excited, remember that once you are on the list, you'll never get off !!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Every page tells a story

Talk about revolutionary.

CNET, the website that talks tech (at shuddering length) has developed a new feature called - wait for it- "page turn".

This new feature allows users to, yes, turn the page of catalogues direct on the site.

Now if only Zinio had thought of that...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Get into the Grooves

Its enough to put the industry into a spin...

In December, Grooves Magazine, which is now 6 years old, is going digital only. It is of course being driven by ever increasing print costs, but like many of the turntablists the magazine covers, its editor is spinning the move to both fans and advertisers as a positive.

They are offering full colour pages to advertisers at a fraction of the cost of print pages, and readers of course will get a nice shiny new digital magazine on their desktops, courtesy of Texterity.

Now where's my copy of Dark Side of The Moon....

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Can we go to the Zoo ?

Thats what all the kids will be asking once they get their hands on a digital copy of lads mag Zoo, EMAP's leading mens weekly here in the UK.

Its packed with fun features, giveaways and....

Oh alright then, yes its got lots of naked girls....

Oh well.

Zinio to quit UK ?

Rumours reach me that after just 8 months, Zinio are looking to reduce their presence in the UK to just a franchising operation. While this is not entirely unsurprising, given that sign ups to new ventures have been scarce, its not welcome news for the long term health of the industry.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Eeee Diets

As they say in Lancashire.

Well actually this is the website eDiets, which has a really nifty magazine which you can scroll though on its site.

Free to view as well.

Now all you have to deal with is the guilt of Xmas...

Not Exactly

Got a prototype version of a new service - Exact Editions - today.

Nothing out of the ordinary ; a fairly standard PDF layout, zoom functions etc, but the pages loaded slowly and by the look of things this is just a beta version, so no clue yet as to the payment mechanism.

More later.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Digital in Vogue

The doyenne of the British glamour press, Vogue magazine is teaming up with O2 to provide pages from the magazine straight to users mobile phones.

The initiative, which promises readers an "exclusive peak into the glamorous world of fashion", will form part of O2's new section, cunningly called "Style".

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I, Pages

Canadian digital firm iPagez is entering the US market this month, claiming to have a raft of innovative features.

One of them had better be a bullet proof business plan.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Future ? I think not

Much puff from Future USA on the launch of their new magazine Future Snowboarding.

To create a "groundbreaking digital magazine", they have used Magwerks' technology, which I wouldn't have predicted.

What I would have predicted (had they asked) is that it wouldn't work.

Which it doesn't.

Hey ho.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Creative accounting

"The floodgates will open."

That's the opinion of the editor of Accountancy Age, after his title announced they were going to include digital; subscribers in the audit figure.

The Press Gazette has the details

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Digital Information

CMP owned Information Week is claiming that it will add 60,000 digital subscribers to its ratebase.

The more cynical observer might think this has something to do with a falling print base. Perish the thought.

Interestingly, they have opted for Olive Software's XML platform, due to its capacity for animating both editorial and advertising content.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

American Accent

There's a new kid on the block - Accent Magazine. Targetted at college students, it claims to be a better alternative than existing print news magazines.

We shall see.

The premiere issue is downloadable as a Flash file - some 20mB, so you may need to be patient.

Publish for Profit

Folio Magazine, the trade journal of record for the magazine indutsry in the US, have put a Digital Magazine channel on their website.

While this in itself is worthy of celebration, the content is a good introduction to the benefits of "going digital" and although its skewed toward the BtoB market, there are a load of applications there for consumer publishers as well.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Free Magazines !!

To celebrate the launch of their new global network, Zinio are giving away sample copies of their new worldwide partners products. Lots to choose from including the intriguingly named
Baan Lae Suan.

Go here for the site


Monday, September 19, 2005

Habla Digital ?

Seems the war for foreign language readers on digital platforms is hotting up. This week, both Texterity and Zinio announced initiatives designed to attract overseas readers to their respective newsstands.

Zinio have cobbled together a "global network", encompassing titles from Spain, France, Sweden and a number of other countries. Meanwhile, Texterity yesterday announced that it will roll out what it is calling the first Spanish language interface for digital magazines.

The interface, designed to allow readers to “browse, navigate, save and search” Spanish magazines in the same language they are published, launches with a pair of b-to-b publishers—Stagnito Communications’ Industria Alimentcia and Watt Publishing’s Industria Avicola—and Meredith’s recently-launched Siempre Mujer getting the full-on digital treatment.

Let battle commence.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Online gamble

Future have copied the idea they tried first in 2003 to create a "pioneering new digital version" (sic) of Online Gambler.

No doubt in response to Dennis Publishing activity (with their Total Gambler product), the interactive version will be available to, and ignored by, readers of over a million other Future magazines, via CD and DVD covermounts.

Strikes me the only gamble being taken here is by advertisers pouring more and more money chasing ever more elusive players...

Miss Digital ?

As mentioned previously, Playboy are spending more and more time building their digital presence. There are now six different products available via Zinio, as the magazine continues to pioneer new routes to market in an attempt to tackle a Maxim - led market.

It may also have a good deal to do with Playboy missing its ratebase last month and dropping ad pages.

Must stop now, my wrist is getting tired........

Friday, August 19, 2005

Join the Q

Regular readers of this site (you know who you are) will know my fascination with the Q Mags site and its collection of industry ephemera.

The latest titles to join the list are Desktop Engineering, Embedded Systems and the improbably named Policy Today, which thinks that "principled decision making lies at the heart of republican democracy."

Hmm. One for Mr Bush's desktop methinks

Monday, August 01, 2005

Top Shelf

Looks like the floodgates have opened. Zinio have agonised over the placement of er "specialist" men's titles on their site for some while, so its interesting to note that there are now over 15 titles in this sector, with adult content much to the fore.

Indeed, Playboy's Lingerie Special is now number one in terms of sales, compared with a year ago, when it was PC Magazine.

Hope those Tablet PC's are wipeable.

Make Do !

O'Reilly's excellent Make Magazine have an excellent digital version. You need to be a subscriber to get the full version, but you can still download some samples as a PDF.

The make blog attracts around 100,000 page views a day ; which is by my calculation around 100,000 more than this blog.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Digital in growth shocker !!

A report from Zinio has outlined the fact that digital magazines are increasing their penetration of the media mix (or something like that).

Key facts from the survey, grandly entitled "The Digital Publishing Report" include -

  • 33.7% growth in number of titles
  • 25.9% growth in circulation
  • 38.4% growth in deliveries

Consumer publications have higher average digital circulation, though more business publications have gone digital.

Use of rich media in digital publications grew 188% from Q1 2004 to Q1 2005, based on the report.

Digital providers control the lion's share of digital magazine distribution. 85.6% of all digital circulation was executed with a digital provider rather than by the publisher using PDF.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Digital Alternative

Nxt Books have announced that they are working with a firm called Digital Alternatives (posts passim) in the UK.

Alternatives will be targetting the B to B sector and have announced that they have already digitised BRAD, the bible of magazines, newspapers and periodicals.

What a service to humanity.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Paper ? Pah

Nice piece by Seana Mulcahy on how digital is changing the way that people read their news.

Go here

IT's 100

Business Week are producing a special digital version of their IT 100 supplement.

This special issue covers the world’s top 100 technology companies. The digital version of the magazine is intended to showcase multimedia audio and video, including interactive executions of both rich editorial and advertising.

Sounds good.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Better late than never

Zinio has announced the signing of agreements with AccesoGroup in Spain, Zinio Systems Norden AS in Scandinavia and Taurus in Poland. Zinio said the companies will sell its products and services to magazine publishers locally and maintain online newsstands for direct consumer subscriptions.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Go digital - or your money back

Texterity are offering clients their money back if they are not satisfied with their move to the digital platform. Too good to be true ? Well, according to their spokesperson (the splendidly named Cimarron Buser - an anagram if I've ever seen one) the offer means "Within six months we will contractually agree to bring the digital magazine to a break-even point."

In English that means that Texterity agree to either a refund or that they will continue to work with the publisher free of charge to achieve success.

Of course there are caveats - the offer only applies to BtoB publications - but I think this is a good move. Texterity should be applauded for trying to kick start the market and it will be interesting to see how the other vendors respond.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


One of my favourite magazines - Revenue - is going digital with Zinio. This is great news for those of us outside the US, hungry for an affiliate marketing magazine that isn't full of smug self serving imbeciles telling you the blatantly obvious.

Like er Revolution for instance.

Monday, May 09, 2005


NXT Books has announced version 2.0 of its browser based interface. Promised improvements include a slicker interface, better graphics resolution and improved linking.

We shall see.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Citizen Caned

Citizen Culture, which apparently is a "magazine for the young intellectual" - an oxymoron if I've ever heard one - is aiming to go digital in September.

Good news you might think ; but no, this is yet another example of publishers reaching for the digital opportunity as a last resort. Evidently the New York based publisher is in "hiatus" following a disastrous debut on the newsstand, so naturally enough they are looking to a digital version to give them a more sensible cost base and a wider readership.

Which of course begs the question - why didn't they do this in the first place ?

Monday, April 25, 2005

Future Imperfect

Unbelievably, Future have decided their new magazine "Click4More" (sic) should be published on the NXTBook platform.

Having tried (unsuccessfully) to woo readers with a downloadable magazine on Zinio for 99p, they are now evidently changing tack and going for an online product with yet another propietary system.

Have these people never heard of open source ?

Monday, April 04, 2005

April Fools

Zinio's attitude to the UK publishing fraternity lurches from the ridiculous to the absurd.

According to sources, in the early days of dealing with Zinio in the US, you had to basically get on a plane at your own expense and then present yourself at their offices if you wanted to use the system - the ultimate in self referral.

Now, having puffed the launch of a UK office, it appears that they are using a third party to approach smaller publishers.

Which is particularly ironic considering that their agents appear to have handled no one smaller than Associated Newspapers.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Hot on the heels of the demise of Broadband Now! comes the exciting news that Future are once again to turn their hands to publishing on the digital - only platform.

The project is imaginatively titled "Click4More" and is rumoured to be helmed by the former editor of .net, Paul Douglas.

Expect a design rich, content lite execution..

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

3.0 good reasons to try

Zinio have updated their reader to 3.0, and being somehwat of a purist in these matters, I was tempted to stick with the tried and trusted 2.0.

However, I'm delighted to say that the new version speeds up page viewing considerably, and although the shiny new toolbar is triumph of design over function, it is much more uer firendly.

Now all we need is some decent content..

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New appointee for Zinio

Zinio have pulled in the former publisher of Popworld, Sarah Clegg, to head up their UK operations.

Monday, February 21, 2005

What's NXT for Advanstar

Advanstar selected NXTbook Media as its digital publishing vendor for its business publications, the company announced today.

Advanstar has had a working relationship with NXTBook since 2002, using its digital technology to help promote Advanstar’s trade shows.

The ones that haven't closed that is...................

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Education, education, eduction

Posted by Hello

Good news for college professors in the US. Zinio are offering a sample issue of new magazine "Co Ed" (yes really), a campus oriented product that promises girls, sports, drink and more girls.

Miss Bryce, see me after class.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Time for a change

Folio has a great piece on Time Warners digital strategy here. Of particular interest is the fact that Time are using digital magazines as testers for possible print products - for example they have tested Your Diet as a digital offshoot of People and may launch this next year.

Pity other people aren't so bold.

Yes Dennis, I am talking to you.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Texterity have just released the latest version of their browser based viewer. And that's all I'm writing about it. It sucks.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Stage Posted by Hello

All luvvied up

A surprise entrant (but welcome nontheless) to the world of digital magazines is The Stage, which intends ot put every issue published into digital format. The showbusiness trade title, which was launched in 1880, has so far only seen its back issues available on microfilm in London and New York.

Current owner and managing director, Catherine Comerford, the great grand-daughter of the co-founder, said "2005 will see the launch of the complete back issues of The Stage in digital format, making it available to everyone, wherever they live".

Gosh, thanks.

Friday, January 21, 2005

20 years before the Mast

Friday's news that Charles Mast, Ziff Davis' Director of Circulation, has left the company, should encourage some healthy speculation that he is on his way to join his erstwhile colleagues at Zinio.

Well if there wasn't any speculation before, I've just started it.

So there.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Domino ready to fall

Well on Americans anyway.

Conde Nast's new shopping magazine, Domino, has a really nice flash preview available for potential readers and advertisers alike here.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Digital Magazines

Digital Magazines

Get Active !!

Looks like VNU are testing Computer Active with the Zinio system.

Run on over to their site and you can get a free copy of the June 04 issue

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ch ch ch changes

BPA Worldwide’s board of directors announced several rule changes regarding digital versions of print business and consumer magazines and newspapers.

The board ruled that "publishers have the option of reporting e-mail alerts that a digital version has been delivered to the subscriber’s computer, actual downloads of the digital file by the subscriber or both." Those who report downloaded copies must do so throughout the report.

This rule change provides greater visibility for downloaded information.

A second rule change is that reporting nonqualified digital copies is "expressly disallowed."

Tough stuff. Wonder who they could be aiming at ?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Great Adventure

Adventure Sports has signed on Texterity to be its digital delivery partner. The magazine will begin using Texterity's Published Web Format, making the magazine accessible electronically the same day the publication is distributed.

The publisher promises that advertisers will be able to receive direct feedback from their advertising via print ads which are multi-linked to advertisers' Web sites.

The magazine's digital subs will total 20,000 to start, pushing total distribution to over 50,000.

Well that's the first resolution of the new year broken at Adventure Sports then - no bullshitting indeed.