While it has been rumored and talked about for ages, four major magazine publishers only made it official today: there is a digital magazine rack coming to your mobile device in the future.
Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corporation and Time Inc. have finally made official what has been talked about for ages, and that is that the four magazine publishers are teaming up to start a digital distribution platform for magazines. It is certainly no secret that all forms of print media have been suffering declines in sales thanks to the Internet, but while newspapers have found ways to go online, magazine publishers have had a rougher time of it. How do you keep the familiar magazine format when you cross over to the digital world, and, most importantly, how do you keep your advertisers happy?
To all of the questions, the consortium said in its press release that its goals for the new platform were fourfold: to create a highly featured common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each publication; a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes; a consumer storefront offering an extensive selection of reading options; and a rich array of innovative advertising opportunities.
The new store will also hold new possibilities for many groups. Advertisers will see new ways of selling their wares through the possibility of interactivity, and other publishers, such as comic books, may find a whole new way to distribute themselves.
While the announcement has been a long time coming, the missing piece of the puzzle is the actual storefront. Apparently all of the talk we have heard so much about has just been getting the consortium together, but no actual store is ready to launch yet, nor has a timeline been given. For now all we have are promises of greatness, but until a product actually launches, that is all it really is.