February 27, 2015 Last Updated 11:45 am

Next Issue Media updates iOS app, adds offline feature

The digital magazine app for iOS from Next Issue Media received an update yesterday to add a new menu feature. NIM features more than 140 magazines and is the original all-you-can-read subscription service, offering unlimited (or nearly unlimited) reading for its magazine portfolio for one monthly subscription price.

Here is the update details:

What’s New in Version 4.3.0
We’ve made it easier to manage downloaded magazines. Here’s what’s new:
– Tap Downloads in the menu to easily find your downloaded magazines available offline.
– Manage your download queue and easily remove read magazines from your device. (Don’t worry, you can always download them again.)

NIM-iPad-screenEarly reviews of the updated app have two complaints: the app crashes when accessing downloaded magazines, and the app update makes no adjustments for larger iPhones.

The app in Google Play last received an update on February 9th, and Android users, too, have been voicing complaints about the app.

“When I first got this app, it was decent,” writes one Android device user. “It crashed a lot, but for the monthly price, it was worth it. Then it got worse and worse, and when they “updated” the program, it became terrible. It worked here and there, then I just didn’t use it because it was a hassle. I started to try using it again a few weeks ago and it wouldn’t download anything, and now it just freezes up and does nothing. Going to cancel my subscription since I wasted 6 months or more of not being able to or wanting to use it.”

App issues are universal, but I think publishers underestimate how they effect their digital circulation. One major Hearst magazine suffered through a whole series of problems following the introduction of iOS 7 in the fall of 2013, and the title’s next two publisher’s statement then started to show a huge drop in digital subscription. Was it because of the app bugs? Apple’s Newsstand policies? Who knows, but the drop was dramatic enough – over 100,000 readers – that it should have gotten someone’s attention.

Meanwhile, many of the audits from publishers part of Next Issue Media are starting to show increases in single copy digital readership (because of the nature of the unlimited subscription services, reader gets filed under single copy rather than digital subscriptions).

Time Inc.’s CEO, Joe Ripp, when asked about digital editions during the investor conference call following the release of last quarter’s earning mentioned NIM in his remarks (Time Inc. is one of the founding partners in NIM). Ripp said he was confident that the publisher was reaching new readers through the service.

The latest publisher’s statements do show progress in building readership for publishers in the service. Keeping the app functioning properly, though, will only be that much more important because of it.

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