The digital newsstand business has half a dozen players plus various publishers trying to flog their own menu of titles. But in this hyper-competitive environment, coming out of the east is a real contender. Magzter, a cloud-based, cross-platform magazine store has 7 million users worldwide (mostly in Asia) and is growing at a million a month, according to a story on Pando Daily. It now claims 2 million users in the U.S., a number that is bound to leap upwards as the company announces it has signed Hearst -- publisher of ELLE, Cosmo, Esquire, Seventeen, Marie Claire and 16 other titles.
"Magzter skirts Apple’s Newsstand by sitting as a separate app but still benefits from the App Store’s subscriptions system thanks to a four-month negotiation with Apple that allowed Magzter to put a firewall between the customer and the app, so it can collect consumer data. That Magzter shares that data is one of its advantages over competitors, such as Zinio and Amazon. It’s also one of the reasons Magzter is able to get away with an almost astronomically high 50/50 revenue split."Magzter is based in India and got its start in 2011 by raising $3 million and is now in the process of raising $10 million more. While most of the titles on the site are for now replica editions (and no Canadian titles that we can see), Magzter's co-founder and president Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan predicts that half the magazines on the site will be fully interactive within 18 months.