January 19, 2016 Last Updated 10:57 am

Apple promotes Meredith app sale inside the App Store

Twelve of Meredith’s digital edition apps are being promoted inside the App Store, offering a discounted subscription rate – a 13th magazine is missing, Martha Stewart Living magazine, but still offering the discount

The digital edition is dead, long live the digital edition. Or, at least, that is the common wisdom these days. But circulation managers still need to sell subscriptions, and digital is still a far more cost effective way to produce and distribute a magazine than the print and post office. So it shouldn’t be too surprising to see Apple’s App Store use the front of one of its iPad app store categories to promote a sale from one of the major US magazine publishers.


Meredith is getting promoted on the front page of the Magazines & Newspapers category. The promotion is for a subscription sale: $3.99 for six months. The sale applies to all 12 of Meredith’s titles inside the App Store. Meredith has 18 total iPad apps, but six of the apps either are supplements to the main magazines, or something like Eat This, Not That, Meredith’s new magazine which is not a monthly.

BHG-iPad-saleWhile many of the titles being offered only offer a replica edition of the print magazine, at least one offers a nice digital edition: Better Homes & Gardens. The digital edition is a hybrid, offering the full page ads as seen in print, but reformatting the editorial content for the iPad. (Unlike its competitors, Meredith has not moved to make its digital edition apps universal, so only have seven apps that work on the iPhone).

A number of Meredith’s titles can be found inside Next Issue Media’s digital newsstand, now called Texture, so they are built using Adobe’s solution. It allows for both a PDF replica edition and a native digital edition. The decision to go replica, therefore, is usually one decided not by whether one wants to be inside Texture, but whether one wants to spend the human resources necessary to create a native digital edition. Weekly publications like Time Inc.’s People would be hard to make into a native digital edition without completely rethinking the layouts (which, frankly, would be a really good idea). But monthlies are naturals for a hybrid approach, if not a totally native approach.

One of Meredith’s titles that is missing from the Apple promotion above, but is still offering a discounted subscription, is Martha Stewart Living magazine. The only reason I can think of why it might be missing from the promotional push is that the app continues to be found under the Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia developer account. Despite the fact that Meredith has been managing the magazine for over a year now they have never moved the app to the Meredith developer account. They did, however, change the digital edition from being a native digital edition which was popular with readers, to a replica edition. While the magazine has since lost digital subscribers, it has managed to pick up digital single copy readers thanks to being added to the Next Issue Media digital newsstand in the past year.

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