Reform digital edition now available!

Reform Magazine is now available as an app and web edition through Exact Editions.

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Reform explores theology, ethics, personal spirituality and Christian perspectives on social and current affairs. It features writing from journalists, academics, politicians, campaigners, scientists and religious leaders.

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As well as high-profile interviews, in-depth features and book, music and film reviews, Reform carries letters and a regular light-hearted column.

The magazine is published 10 times a year by the United Reformed Church but has readers from all Christian denominations, as well as readers from other faiths and from no faith tradition.

Subscriptions are available in iTunes and the Exact Editions webstore.

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Digital Magazines are Leaning-Forward

When the iPad was launched there was an instant reaction that these new tablets would work especially well with lean-back media, such as films, TV and magazines, maybe not so well with lean-forward media where we create and mix, customise and navigate. The idea of lean-forward and lean-back media may have started with Jakob Nielsen, who back in 2008 explained that the web is an active medium and users are engaged and want to go places and get things done (lean-forward), and with TV viewers want to be entertained and they dont want to make choices (lean-back).

The early critics mis-read the iPad which has become much more of a lean-forward device than we would have thought possible — back in the days when there were very few apps for the platform it seemed more like a viewer than a maker. There are now masses of brilliant creative apps for the iPad. Games (very lean-forward) have been the most commercially successful of the app categories and we see that even apparently lean-back media, such as TV and newspapers and magazines are increasingly aiming to become lean-forward applications on the iPad. Magazines in the iTunes newsstand are in general much more ‘lean forward’ than magazines in the Google Play newsstand, where outbound links and even content search is not supported.

We have seen some surprising lean-forward moves from lean-back media, not just with magazines, e.g.  the growing interest in TV on the iPad. If Apple launches its rumoured iTV product, you can bet that its going to be a lot more ‘lean-forward’, much more interactive than the typical cable TV channel. Yet even cable TV is becoming more lean-forwrd than it used to be. Twitter’s recent launch of its Amplify advertising project is a step in the same direction. The aim being to use the interactivity of the social network that feeds off the TV channels to integrate and syndicate appropriate ads to the global audience. Twitter’s chief scientist even suggests that Twitter may “become the soundtrack to television” — as though TV did not already have a soundtrack!

There is no question that media that works on the iPad works better if the device is not simply a platform for consumption, but a launchpad for engagement and exploration also. So magazines are also getting up off the couch and going with their readers in directions which engage and explore.

Exact Editions is now delivering version 7 software for all the magazine apps on the platform. These bring a new interface, enhanced searching and additional focus on the social engagement potential of magazine apps. The new Dazed & Confused app is a great showcase for these lean-forward possibilities. Search is now particularly powerful because the user can search through the whole magazine, the complete archive or selected years or decades, to find particularly relevant articles, designers or fabrics (“black chiffon dress”, “Stella McCartney”, “mullet”), and the power feature is that if the user bookmarks the search, all the search result pages  are synced to the device (up to 200 will be found in one search, if the limit is reached eg for “Vivienne Westwood” switch to searching by decade).

Dazed archive, 200 issues in the array

Dazed archive, 200 issues in the array

 

Synced search results are now bookmarked

Synced search results are now bookmarked

 

Tweeting one of Vivienne Westwood's dream

Tweeting one of Vivienne Westwood’s dresses

 

When magazine apps provide so much scope for searching and sharing they are much more lean-forward and much less lean-back. The most ‘lean-forward’ aspect of magazine publishing is that subscribers look forward to getting their next issue. Enabling those subscribers to feel and search the depth of the magazine, and to share snippets of the great content with friends and fellow enthusiasts is the best way in which digital magazines can deliver a new audience and build a new community around the magazine brand.

 

An Apple A Day – Yoga & Health joins Apple Newsstand

Europe’s leading independent monthly Yoga magazine, Yoga & Health, is now available whenever, and wherever you like via Apple Newsstand.

Now Yoga fans on the move will never be far from the step by step guides, posture advice and meditation techniques.

The app allows readers to view issues back to November 2011, all at the touch of a button. A newly added function also means that articles can be shared straight from the App via email, message and Twitter.

Read the magazine anyway you like with different view modes and the Page Flow tool that allows you to skip straight to the page that you are looking for.

To find out more download the App here – http://bit.ly/YogaHealthApp

Getting the App store thinking – Radical Philosophy now available as a Newsstand App

The UK-based journal of socialist and feminist philosophy can now be downloaded at the tap of a finger.

Published 6 times a year the magazine is sent straight to your Apple device, with subscriptions also including a host of searchable back issues.

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Sync issues for offline reading and enjoy the latest issue wherever and whenever you like.

To test out the App follow this link – http://bit.ly/RadicalPhilApp

Digital Magazines Begin To Matter £$€

Earlier this summer, the Audit Bureau of Circulation began to issue Digital Circulation certificates. Exact Editions was able to support this new standard approach to reporting digital editions from the beginning, and now any of our magazines that need ABC compliant data can get it through their dashboard accounts, directly from our servers, updated month by month. Here is a typical example:

ABC have recognised that there is still considerable disparity in the way publishers are treating their digital editions, and the new reporting rules allow for some variation. They really have had to embrace different approaches, as there is no uniformity on how a digital edition should be delivered and there is a clear consensus across the industry that these circulation figures are begining to matter. And this is not just a question of ‘mattering’ in the way that publishers web sites have mattered, as a channel for communication with the audience and as a way of building and defending the magazine brand. No, these statistics and the circulation that underlies them is beginning to matter in the way that really counts with a magazine business. The subscriptions which these audits report are starting to bring in significant amounts of dosh.

As a matter of policy we do not comment on the individual magazines that we publish, we only report detailed financial and sales information to the publishers of the titles which we serve and support. But now some of this data is in the public domain, and we can cite this public data that make it clear that digital sales, especially of iPad editions, are starting to count.

Journalism.co.uk took a look at some of these results from the first 6 months of 2012, and announced that Future’s T3 had the top circulation: 17,000 downloads of the average tablet issue; and Cosmopolitan came in second with an average circulation of 13,000. If we multiply these figures by the typical cost of the monthly iTunes sub for each title (Cosmopolitan typically costs £4 per digital issue), it looks as though both titles were generating an average of c. £55K a month. Not bad, and certainly not to be sneezed at, though from these gross figures one should subtract the Apple commission and the VAT element.  £50K a month of new income equates to £600K per annum, still a smallish sum for a big glossy magazine, but certainly material. Furthermore, successful apps are growing their audience and their revenues at a rapid rate (10% per month increase is still quite common). And the trend for tablet consumption of magazines has a following wind. The Finance Directors, at Future and at Nat Mags will be taking an interest, the Guardian reports that Future have now sold more than £5 million worth of digital editions of its titles.

Although Journalism.co.uk highlights T3 and Cosmopolitan, it is arguable that the real star in the digital circulation wars amongst magazines is the Economist, which has just released its first Consolidated Media Report with full stats from the digital side of the business. This is a global report and it makes for impressive reading. Two facts struck me in particular: (1) The Economist now has 54,oo0 buyers of its iPad edition (2) On its North American page it specifies that the average (annualised) selling price for its iPad edition is $106 (interestingly $3 more than the average price for the print edition), if that price is held good for the international market then the revenue from the iPad market alone is over $5 million. Since the Economist has several alternatives to its iPad edition and some revenue from web subscriptions, the total digital revenue will be significantly higher.