Lovely piece by Jude Rogers in The Bookseller that illustrates exactly how much the industry has changed over the last decade or so. Really worth considering:
Take what happened to us in 2007. Before then, we would hand-deliver 340 copies of every issue of Smoke to Malcolm Hopkins, the wonderful magazine buyer at Borders Oxford Street. He shelved them well, and every one would sell—a good return for both parties. But then we received a letter from Borders head office saying that, in future, branches would not accept deliveries direct from publishers; we would need to use a “recognised distributor” instead. Malcolm left, and the last issue we’d hand-delivered was left in the storeroom; over half came back as returns.
This was at a time when our sales were increasing elsewhere. And what a grim irony it was that Borders went bust not long after its approach became so impersonal.
Great post from Adam Hodgkin about how magazines and twitter are likely to cooperate much more in the years ahead! I was struck by his second paragraph for some reason:
After five years of scraping around with Flash, and then two years of figuring out how to do good stuff on the iPad, the digital magazine business has reached a stage where it seems clear that the ‘next step’ will be heavily ‘social’, in which magazines recapture their strong position as guardians and builders of specialist interest groups. So digital magazines are already beginning to embrace the importance of tweeting, sharing, emailing and linking to favourite stuff in magazine contents.
I’m intrigued by this news. I know how tempting it can be to use an app rather than even the best browser on a smaller screen (and by the way Chrome mobile for Android is my flavour). Even so I find it hard to believe that the app is the end point of this development. I( can’t help but feel that the app is a way-point of a kind, a diversion that will eventually lead back to the browser as that form adapts better to smaller screens.
But when an app is done right, with a clean and uncluttered design, it can make the digital reading experience on a smartphone significantly more comfortable and appealing than browsing the same offering’s internet equivalent.
The latest research from comScore, a digital marketing firm, supports this very premise, with its latest report into US mobile phone industry trends for May 2012 suggesting that 51.1% of its respondents 30,000 mobile subscribers used downloaded apps on their mobiles, compared with 49.8% that used browsers. This shows an increase of 1.6 percentage points over February of this year, while browser usage increased by just 0.6% over the same period.
But unfortunately mymagonline.com is but a poor copy of exact Editions, offering at least in its samples, bad resolution, PDF only downloads, little in the way of search capacity or even a nice clean site.