Posted by: Olivia Young
Say goodbye to the mailman and the paperboy.
The days of waiting at the mailbox for the next issue of Vogue are over. Along with the release of Apple iOS 5 comes the Newsstand app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app streamlines magazine and newspaper subscriptions, organizing and updating them automatically.
App users can also buy individual issues of Apple-friendly publications.
FolioMag.com’s review of Newsstand praises the self-updating app, which has a design similar to the iBooks app: Magazines and newspapers appear on “shelves” and the user receives a notification when a new issue arrives. Big names are already jumping on board, Folio Mag notes:
When viewing the Newsstand in iTunes, some featured titles include Wired, The New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, The Daily and Reader’s Digest…Popular Science, Popular Photgraphy and Sound + Vision are available on the iOS 5 Newsstand as well.
And while Newsstand has a few of those just-released glitches, the app has the potential to change the way we read.
Publications began converting existing print media into iPad apps upon the device’s advent in 2010. So, while iPad publications are not brand new, the Newsstand will make it easier to find – and subscribe to – magazines and newspapers that may be struggling in the print realm.
Will more newspapers and magazines turn their attention to iPad apps because of Newsstand?
At risk of making Newsstand sound like the savior of the print industry, the app does open up a new set of possibilities for publications. It solves the problem of giving away free content online because the app is linked to users’ iTunes accounts; it keeps subscribers reading because it automatically delivers new issues.
As journalism students, we are very aware that print publications – as much as we love them – are not here to stay. Luckily, we’re in a unique position because we understand how apps work and how to market to online readers. (As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”)
Will the Newsstand revive the publication industry? Is it a step toward lessening “free” media content on the web and increasing subscription numbers? What do we need to learn to be successful in the publication app industry?