Music magazines and technology magazines make a lot of use of cover disks (CD’s packaged up on the outside of the cover). This is quite messy, expensive and environmentally unfriendly.

We have tended to steer clear of ‘cover disks’, not wishing to make life more complicated than it need be for ourselves or our publishers. But our new addition PC Utilities has used our platform in a very neat way to produce a general solution.

One of the tricky complications is that the ‘cover disk’ carries premium info that the magazine publisher does not want to give away for free, otherwise it would be possible to post the data/programs/music on the magazine web site and let all and sundry come in for it. Simple, but it undermines the premium quality of the cover disk. The PC Utilities publisher saw that they could use the fact that we provide real time data on new subscriptions, to provide a check list, on those who would be entitled to download the cover disk contents. Provided that your email address matches with the list of subscribers to the digital edition you get into the FTP area to harvest your goodies.

This publisher’s solution is a very good example of the way digital editions can be used to complement the work of the magazine’s web site. Once the cover disk becomes merely virtual the publisher saves money, and also has the possibility of creating a much more valuable archival resource for his subscribers.