Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Experimental "Netflix for magazines" would deliver digital mags to tablets for a flat fee

Like cities building sidewalks where people  wear a rut, magazine publishers are apparently responding to readers' actual behaviour with something that could be called Netflix for Magazines.
An interesting column by Peter Kafka at All Things Digital discussed how Next Issue Media, the large digital magazine consortium (which has not been making very big waves in the business so far) have come up with a plan to deliver all the magazines people want to their tablets for a flat fee of $10 or $15. It's early days and it's experimental, but so far this is what it looks like: 
It would require an app that would only work with Android tablets running Honeycomb; only 32 titles from four, admittedly big, publishers are so far signed on; and if you want both print and digital, there is no such bundling.
The idea is that publishers would share revenue based on the time that consumers spend with each magazine but, like NIM's current business model, mostly it will be paid for by advertising. As Kafka points out, faced with a rather tepid uptake of tablet magazines by consumers (less than 1% of circulation)  the idea makes a key concession by not requiring them to commit to any particular title and to mix and swap out magazines at will.

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