Active Interest Media releases new Newsstand app for its recently acquired Ski Magazine
In late April of this year Active Interest Media acquired two skiing magazines from Bonnier Corp. The magazines, SKI and Skiing had not faired well under Bonnier’s ownership, with the circulation of Skiing, for instance, falling from over 400,000 to around 50K.
The two titles were actually returning to the same management team that once published them under the media company name of Mountain Sports Media.
“This is back to the future for us since we used to own and run and built this group,” Andy Clurman, Active Interest Media’s president and COO told AdAge at the time of the sale. “So we have a ton of history and affinity and experience with the brands.”
“The model we have been following pretty successfully at AIM is to go find great legacy brands, in most cases print brands, and then dramatically grow the multiplatform audience and services around that,” Clurman said.
As Bonnier was one of the first publishing companies to begin launching tablet editions for their titles, with Popular Science leading the way with its Mag+ built app released in April of 2010, the print titles would be coming to its new owner with apps already in the Apple Newsstand. But as anyone who has acquired a magazine that already has an app can tell you, buying the print magazine is sometimes easier than getting control of the existing app.
So Active Interest Media (AIM) has launched its own Newsstand app for Ski. Named Ski Magazine, the universal Newsstand app is taking a quite different approach to creating its digital editions.
Whereas Bonnier had launched a buggy replica edition – reader reviews were quite critical – AIM has launched a hybrid edition where the print ads are as seen in print but the editorial copy is reformatted for the device. This approach is probably the most common one used by major publishers that are using the Adobe DPS to launch apps into the Apple Newsstand. Often a reformatted digital magazine is launched into the Newsstand while replica edition apps are maintained inside Google Play and Amazon.com.
The new app for the Apple Newsstand will now sit side-by-side with the existing app, which is named Ski Mag, that still bears the Bonnier name. The new app contains a preview issue that is free to download. AIM is keeping the same price point of $11.99 for an annual subscription, but is obviously trying to migrate readers off the old app to the new one.
It won’t be easy. Unless Apple promotes the app most readers will not know there is a new Newsstand app unless they find out through other means such as the magazine’s website. Reaching print readers is fairly easy as the publisher will have some form of contact information, but what about existing digital-only subscribers?
Well, Bonnier has helped the new owners out by posting a notice right in the old Newsstand app. The notice is interesting – note how the first sentence seems to be in the voice of Bonnier, while the second sounds like it is coming from AIM:
“Bonnier Corp. recently sold Ski, Skiing, Skiing Business, Warren Miller Entertainment and NASTAR to Active Interest Media, owner of such titles as Backpacker and Snow Show Preview.
The new owners are hard at work changing things up in an effort to continue delivering your favorite skiing features. Keep a lookout for our app and we promise you more exclusive content with the new SKI Magazine… just in time for ski season!”