New native digital edition apps for Education in Chemistry and Ibis, and a replica for ITP’s Education Journal Middle East
Three education magazines release new apps into the Apple Newsstand as the pace of new digital edition releases picks up in March
The rate of new digital editions making their debut inside the Apple Newsstand has accelerated in March, driven by replica editions being released by revenue-share platforms, and the appearance of more specialty titles – education and B2B.
Most major consumer titles are already inside the Newsstand, generally with hybrid or native digital editions, even if they produce replicas for other digital newsstands. Sadly, many titles are reporting slower growth in sales from the Newsstand, or even a decline, in their latest publisher’s statements. The mismanagement of the Newsstand by Apple, combined with the flooding of the Newsstand with replica editions (many now coming from countries that previously had few new releases), is combining to give the impression to some media observers that the vast majority of digital editions are unreadable, if even discovered.
But there are still many new interesting digital editions being released into the Newsstand, and as many of them are not there to build readerships, but simply to give existing readers a new way to access their issues, they may find the Newsstand continuing to be useful.
Described as the “magazine for chemistry teachers across secondary, further and higher education,” Education in Chemistry will be offering some of its issues inside the app free of charge, while pricing others at £3.99. Auto-renewable subscriptions are also available: six months at £10.99, and twelve months at £20.99.
The new Newsstand app uses the Pugpig which produces a very readable digital edition for both the iPad and iPhone.
In fact, the one thing that all three new digital editions mentioned in this post have in common is that they have produced an app that work on both the iPad and iPhone.
Ibis is from Wiley Publishing, and is one of a large group of publications the publisher has recently launched into the Newsstand. Ibis is the 278th app for the iPad so far released, well over 200 of which were released into the Newsstand.
I suppose this points to one of the problems with the Newsstand (as well as one of its positives): it is filled with many titles that one would not normally be seen in a consumer newsstand of print magazines. B2B magazines and scientific journals are of limited interest to the vast majority of magazine readers, but because the Newsstand is mismanaged by Apple these titles are just mixed into the inventory of all titles. The individual categories are broken and Apple stubbornly refuses to fix them, so finding a specialty title is a crap shoot.
But most publishers of specialty titles maintain their own databases of past and present readers which helps with informing readers of any new digital edition (though this is one reason why it is insane that so many B2B publishers have let their readership lists go to seed after they have dropped their BPA audits).
Ibis, I should point out, is the journal of avian science – and Wiley’s digital editions, because so many have been produced, follow a standard format which produces a very readable, news feed-like digital edition.
Education Journal Middle East is the latest Newsstand app released from ITP Publishing, and their 78th to be released into the Apple App Store.
ITP was founded in 1987 in the UK, but has subsequently relocated to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Of the three new apps, this is the one that is simply a replica editions. The digital edition depends entirely on pinch-to-zoom for the reader to be able to pull up the content to a large enough size that it can be read.
With many publishers realizing that owners of larger smartphones will be depending on their mobile devices for reading digital editions, it is more important than ever to produce one that can, you know, actually be read. That is why these PDF-based digital editions appearing on the iPhone side of the App Store make little sense.
Some vendors are creating digital editions that provide both a PDF of the print edition, but with headlines hot linked to text versions of the articles. This means the art director’s layouts will be abandoned, but at least the content will be readable (and a few include at some of the artwork, as well).