Good magazine apps get updated while junk apps crowd out publishers
The Apple Newsstand is “full of crap” a magazine publishing executive told me last month when explaining why he no longer was interested in launching original magazines into Apple’s ecosystem. It’s also full of good magazines, as well. But finding them continues to be difficult.
Publishers, in preparation for the launch of iOS 7 continue to update their apps. The move has more to do with the updates the platform providers like Mag+, Magzter and other have released to their clients.
American Photo+, the excellent, new-ish digital magazine from Bonnier has updated its app to fix an issue with previously purchased issues being deleted.
The Magazine, once published by Marco Arment, but now appearing under the new company name of Aperiodical LLC, has been updated, as well. A new foreword has been added, and now readers can buy an annual subscription through the app.
I wonder how well the magazine is doing (and would have called to find out, but one doesn’t always get accurate information on sales). Marco Arment was the personality of the magazine just the same way Oprah is at the center of O, or Martha Stewart is… you get the idea. Since the sale late in May I’ve noticed that there are few new reader reviews being post for The Magazine, but Apple continues to feature the title on the front of the Newsstand in iTunes. In fact, there really has been no major changes to the titles being featured inside the App Store for quite some time, as if the app review team has been on vacation all summer long.
One sign of this is the activity of Chris Burns, someone who is becoming rather legendary for his magazine app launches. Burns has just released seven more magazine titles into the App Store while Apple slept. Men’s Bodybuilder joins Men’s Body Building and Body Builder Magazine, Paleo Diet Magazine joins The Paleo Diet. You get the idea, Burns will simply keep launching the same magazines over and over again until he is stopped by Apple.
Under the “Chris Burns” developer account name he has 46 magazine apps, all released in the past four+ months. Under the “Emily Burns” developer account name he has 14 Newsstand apps. Under the “Graham Burns Burns” developer account name (yep, that’s the account name) he has another six apps. That is 66 magazine launches in five months. Can you company launch that many new magazines? All the app descriptions link back to Imagii.net, a site with missing graphics, showing that Apple has stopped checking out the links developers put into their app descriptions. Once developer figure out that Apple has stopped checking these things out we are going to get some really bad things happening as people game the system.
Maybe it is already happening.
Check out this digital magazine app: App Marketer Magazine – The Ultimate Guide To Indie iPhone App Game Development, Programming, Design And Marketing That Mobile Entrepreneurs Have Wired In Their Business To Double Downloads And Make A Fortune. The developer, Pocket Gold LLC, certainly deserves credit for the longest magazine app title seen so far.
The app links back to a website that is an absolute nightmare for those not thrilled with pop-ups. That this would be considered an acceptable use of the Newsstand is why many are wondering whether the digital newsstands built into the ecosystems of platform owners has long term viability.