Next Issue Media unveils digital store preview

Next Issue Media, the joint venture of Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc., today released seven titles in its digital store.

The releases are just a preview of what is to come, and currently they are only available on Samsung’s seven-inch Galaxy Tab from Verizon Wireless in the United States. Titles included in the preview are Esquire, Fitness, Fortune, Parents, Popular Mechanics, The New Yorker and Time.

The Next Issue consortium is sometimes called the “Hulu for magazines,” and is representative of the publishing industry’s move toward making titles available digitally, and all in one place. However, the launch is very limited, as only Galaxy Tab users with service through Verizon can only access them. And even then, those users must buy them through Verizon’s V CAST Apps Store, Wired pointed out.

Adweek agreed, writing: “this sounds like it’s far from the all-encompassing storefront its founders originally planned.”

However, this phase is a “test-and-learn period to gauge consumer response and tinker with the format,” and more devices and screen sizes are expected to follow over the summer.

For publishers, an important part of the set-up is that they get full access to subscriber data, just as they would with print subscribers, All Things Digital noted. This has been a major deal-breaker in the past when publishers tried to negotiate with Apple over digital magazine subscriptions on the iPad (however, Time announced a deal with Apple two weeks ago).

Prices are also set by publishers, who will also be able to offer free digital editions to print subscribers. They can’t yet offer print/digital bundles to new subscribers, but that feature is planned, along with other subscription models, such as a Netflix-style subscription that would allow customers to exchange one title for another, according to All Things D.

Image: Next Issue Media

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