Mag Bag: Next Issue Media to Launch Digital Newsstand


Next Issue Media to Launch Digital Newsstand

Next Issue Media, the industry consortium created by Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Time Inc. and News Corp. to promote digital magazines, is scheduled to launch its digital newsstand for participating publications in the first quarter of 2011.

The consortium hopes to add digital publications from other magazine publishers, per Mediaweek, including big titles like The Economist and Elle, at some point in the future.

The new NIM digital newsstand will allow publishers to set prices and choose between a variety of sales models, including singe-copy sales, subscriptions, and print-digital bundles, per Mediaweek, which reports that the logistics will be handled by digital billing provider Vindicia.

Crucially, the newsstand service will give publishers access to key information about customers, which should allow them to market subscriptions in a more targeted fashion. That feature is lacking at Apple's App store for the iPad, and a major source of complaint among publishers about the Apple business model.



At launch, the NIM digital newsstand will focus on apps for Google's Android operating system, as the consortium still has not struck a deal with Apple to allow delivery to iPads. This falls somewhat short of NIM's original goal of producing a single delivery system compatible with all devices, although this remains a long-term goal.

Also, digital and mobile publisher Texterity is partnering with design firm The Wonderfactory to create their own digital magazine publishing platform, capable of delivering content from their Web editions "across all tablet and smart phone operating systems as well as the Web."

The partners said their newly designed reader interface and a comprehensive library of interactive modules should also debut in the first quarter of 2011. The new service will target niche, trade and association publishers with technical "sophistication currently reserved for the largest consumer magazines."

Hachette Filipacchi On the Block

Lagardere Active is looking to sell Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., which publishes magazines including Elle, Car and Driver and Woman's Day, according to MIN Online. The news comes not long after former president Alain Lemarchand was replaced by Steve Parr (previously of Source Interlink) in September.

Hachette sold a handful of enthusiast magazines to Bonnier back in May 2009, but seemed committed to holding on to its remaining titles, including flagship Elle. Like other big consumer magazine publishers, Hachette contended with the economic downturn, but some of its leading titles have appeared to stabilize in 2010. In the first nine months of the year, Elle saw ad pages increase 8.9% to 1,548, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, while Elle Décor is up 24.9% to 667 ad pages. Car and Driver is up 4% to 608 ad pages, while Woman's Day is basically flat with a 0.7% increase to 1,053.

Nelson Named Editorial Director of Time Inc.

Martha Nelson, who previously served as the group editor for several divisions of Time Inc., has been named editorial director with oversight of all the publisher's magazines. This puts her second only to Time Inc. editor in chief John Huey. Nelson, who has worked for Time Inc. for 18 years, won acclaim for launching InStyle magazine, now a mainstay of the fashion magazine business; she also worked as managing editor of People magazine.

Parenting Launches iPad-Only Edition

Bonnier has launched an iPad-only edition of Parenting, Parenting Seasons, distinguished by exclusive, custom content and a format tailored for Apple's popular new tablet device. The quarterly digital magazine app will provide readers with a comprehensive guide to advice, ideas and activities for families throughout each of the four seasons.

The winter edition of Parenting Seasons, which debuted with Gerber and Huggies as the launch sponsors, highlights the best ways to cure "cabin fever," kids' winter fashion, holiday cookie recipes, winter sports safety and more. According the MomConnection study recently conducted by The Parenting Group, 4% of moms currently own an iPad, but that number is expected to triple over the next six months.

Foreign Affairs Reports Sales Boost

The November-December issue of Foreign Affairs saw newsstand sales jump 24% compared to the September-October issue, according to the magazine -- an especially noteworthy increase considering the November-December special issue's cover price is $12.95, three dollars more than the September-October issue. The magazine is getting ready for a big switch-up: the upcoming January-February issue marks the beginning of Gideon Rose's term as editor -- the sixth in the venerable title's 90-year publishing history.

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