updated 02:47 am EDT, Tue July 10, 2012
Brings 'all you can read' flat-fee approach
Often described as a "Netflix for magazines" because of its flat-rate pricing, Next Issue Media has brought its magazine store to iOS in the form of a new iPad app that lets users pay $10-14 per month, and then download and read as many magazines as they want from a (current) selection of 39 popular titles that publish monthly or bi-weekly. Both current and back issues are included.
Users can also purchase individual subscriptions to featured magazines for between $2 and $10 per month (pricing is set by the publisher), or buy individual issues for between $2.49 and $6 per copy. An "unlimited premium" plan costs $15 per month but includes top titles and weeklies including The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, People, Entertainment Weekly and TIME magazine.
The company plans to expand the number of magazines and eventually add more international titles, and a 30-day free trial is available for both the "unlimited basic" and "unlimited premium" plans so readers can find out if there are enough magazines included to make the offer worth it. The company also wants to experiment with adding socialization features along with recommendations and other personalization options.
A number of the big magazine publishing companies have signed up, allowing even the basic plan to offer magazines like Real Simple, Wired, Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveler, Esquire, Vogue, Glamour, Golf Digest and others. Users must first sign up for a free account at the Next Issue website, where the company can collect the kind of contact and personal information normally withheld when users subscribe to a magazine directly through the App Store.
The free app is then downloaded and users sign in to begin downloading and reading magazines. People must use a credit card in order to buy plans, subscriptions or issues; iTunes gift cards are not accepted as payment (again unlike the App Store). 30-day trial subscriptions are also available for individual magazines, and existing subscribers to the print editions of Next Issue magazines can use the app to get digital editions.