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Friday, September 28, 2007

Europe's first digital newsstand launches

Billed as "My Mag, My Way", Dublin-based mymagonline has launched what it claims to be Europe’s first digital newsagent, providing 24-hour access to leading magazine publications.

Interestingly, this has been produced in conjunction with the Irish PPA; would that our own association were so bold.
Typically, the CEO, Barry Baker, has made some bold claims for the service - promising that it will become the "iTunes for magazines" - which currently don't really stack up. Load time is slow, there are a number of spelling mistakes on the site, and when I used the shopping cart it had a few er "teething problems".
Nonetheless, this is an interesting experiment on which I'll make three immediate observations...
(i) They are using a simple PDF format, which although getting round the Zinio problem (of requiring a proprietary reader), does throw up all sorts of copyright issues, and let's face it, is simply a replication of the print magazine. And as we all know from our digital reading, print versions don't make the most of interactive formats.
(ii) The success of a product like this is reliant on volume of sales, on which the merchant can take a commission. The product base is currently 15 titles so they will need high demand to make this fly.
(iii) Zinio have made more money off digital sales of adult titles in recent months than anything else. How would a model like that work in what is still a very Catholic country ?
Anyway, fascinating stuff, as they are expanding into the UK later this year, so we'll keep an eye on how they are doing.

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