Future plc said to be giving up on tech. iPad-only magazine after only seven months
In what must feel like the shortest lifespan for any magazine launch, Future plc has pulled the plug on tech., according to The Media Briefing, a UK-based website.
Launched in November, and said to be supported by “a seven-figure marketing campaign” the digital-only magazine was promoted to be Future’s biggest digital magazine launch, though whether Future actually spent any of this on the digital magazine product is hard to determine.
“tech. is a major new iPad launch and a truly unique technology magazine,” Nick Merritt, publisher of tech. as well as the print magazine TechRadar, said in the company’s launch announcement. “No single website has all the best reaction and opinion, and no App provides a first class curated experience. This magazine solves the problem, bringing all the really essential technology writing together into one smartly edited whole, every single week. tech. is the week in technology. Personally, I can’t wait to read it.”
Priced at £0.69 / $0.99 / €0.89 for single issues, and £1.99 / $2.99 / €2.69 for a monthly subscription, the iPad-only publication was launched into an increasingly crowded and confusing Apple Newsstand.
Combined with Apple’s marketing decision to only promote a limited number of titles, and without any effective search mechanism, the chances that a digital publication can survive inside the Apple store environment is increasingly bad. One publishing executive, who last year shuttered three digital-only magazines, said that “right now the App Store, and its subdivision the Newsstand, is a very poor marketplace.”
“It’s like going to a huge newsstand some place and you don’t know what you’re looking for and you start wandering around, and you get stuck in the Ladies Home Journal section, or something like that and you can’t find your way out,” this publishing executive told me.
The move to shutter Tech. may, in the end, have as much to do with the publisher’s recent poor earnings report, and news that the publisher may be cutting up to 50 positions. It is difficult to show patience with a new launch in an environment where costs are being scrutinized.