Exact Editions new ByPlace promotion system enables publishers to promote free access to magazine apps ByPlace. Any publisher with an iOS app on the Exact Editions platform can now offer free access to the magazine app via specific locations. To do this a publisher logs on to his account at Exact Editions. Choosing the ByPlace option, the publisher then drops a pin on the precise zone where the free access will be available. As it could be the Leeds Rhinos Stadium in Leeds:
Headingley Carnegie Stadium
This is what the publisher of Forty-20 decided to do for the issue of the magazine that they bring out this week.
Dragging a pin to the Rhinos Stadium
So when you have done the Leeds Rhinos, you might as well do the other professional Rugby League stadiums in the UK. And this is what the Forty-20 publisher promptly did. There are now a pile of Rugby League venues where for the time being access to this digital magazine app is free to all-comers.
League Grounds in the UK with Forty-20 on tap
Not to forget Perpignan’s Rugby League Stade Gilbert Brutus
So why is this such a big deal for digital magazine apps? We think it is a great opportunity, because it is one of those interesting situations one sometimes find with digital media where every party to the transaction is a winner: user/reader, publisher, developer and indeed platform (ie Apple), are all one step ahead because a free sample is free or it is a negligible cost and its a big step towards the transaction. Free access is pretty clearly a good deal for the fans of Rugby League, since if they go to the home of the Bradford Bulls, the Huddersfield Giants or the Rochdale Hornets they can pick up the free app for Forty-20, using wifi, 3G or 4G and they get totally free access whilst they remain in the zone. They can browse the magazine issues, and the latest will sync if they are using WiFi. When the fan leaves the ground he may have an issue or two on his iPhone or iPad, and — here comes the kicker that matters to every other party involved — he will be one step away from buying a subscription. If he likes the magazine there is a greatly increased chance that he will buy a subscription. This means that everyone else gains: the publisher gains a subscriber, Exact Editions will have a small commission on the subscription, and Apple likewise will earn its 30% commission from any subscription taken out.
From the publisher’s point of view this is a golden opportunity, because the Exact Editions system is free to use. The publishers are not charged for using ByPlace promotions. Exact Editions thinks this is a good way of promoting subscriptions and as the developer of ByPlace apps we benefit when publishers sell subscriptions through iTunes. Apple benefits because customers who leave the stadium already have the app on their device and the purchase opportunity is staring them in the face.
Interestingly the venues also gain — though they are not directly involved in the transaction. They are not directly involved because nobody is interfering or impinging on the venue, and there is no rule or law that says that publishers have to ask permission to make stuff freely available in particular places. On the contrary it is very much in the interests of sporting stadia (and other venues) that their audiences are well entertained and even educated by digital services, so we expect that sporting and other venues will soon be encouraging and promoting the work of enterprising publishers such as Forty-20.