Exact Editions has a new promotional tool: a title showcase. This is a web site in which four titles are displayed each week, with one complete issue of each magazine available for online inspection and reading. Click on the front cover and you will jump into a complete issue that can be navigated, read, bookmarked and searched with the Exact Editions web reader app. The obvious use of this showcase tool, for Exact Editions, is as a target for social media and the mailings through which we reach subject specialists and librarians who make decisions about site licenses and content acquisition in universities and research libraries.
The title showcase works well for Exact Editions because our platform for the web is entirely a streaming solution (think Spotify not iTunes) so magazine issues are accessed, via the web, rather than locally stored on the user’s device. The magazine issues are not downloaded and stored locally. This makes it very simple to rotate content in and out of the showcase — indeed the time for which an issue is showcase available is highly configurable, and you will see a different set of issues than the illustration at the head of this page. One other feature of the showcase merits attention, the web reader is only lightly branded for Exact Editions (eg via the help system, the terms of service, and the url). The magazines are not otherwise embedded in an Exact Editions commercial context. There is no option to buy, and as it happens there is at the moment no way of navigating to the title showcase from the Exact Editions consumer shop, or indeed the institutional shop. These rather ‘cut down’ elements of the Exact Editions platform led us to the view that it is perfectly possible, and for various reasons, rather promising, to offer magazine publishers the option of white-labled editions of their magazines, using the Exact Editions databases and reader system, for web access. Exact Editions then becomes a system — pretty much a utility — for managing magazine archives for third parties. We will be developing this potential for distributed magazine circulation behind membership log-ins. Stay tuned.