A quick list of digital magazine software to explore when you’re ready to start publishing
Digital magazine publishing software is used by publishers to design, produce and publish digital magazines. These three functions may or may not reside in the same tools. For example, you might design your digital magazine in InDesign, then use Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to finalize and distribute the magazine.
We’ve launched several digital magazines over the past few years using some of the tools below, and the rest were recommended by our readers. Mequoda has its own solution, too. We’ve already helped Gold Member Prime Publishing develop what we believe is the first-ever web magazine, delivering a full, page-by-page, rich-media experience in a web browser, making it accessible on any device.) For tablet-based digital magazines, we work with Mag+ to create dynamic digital editions.
If you’re thinking about launching a digital magazine, read this handbook and this consumer study first. Trust me, they will save you more time than you think when developing your first digital magazine or re-launching an older one. Next, take a gander at the most popular digital magazine publishing software and see which solution will work best for you.
Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.
Digital Magazine Publishing Software
Good digital magazine publishing software will allow you to design and publish your digital magazine from the same software. It may also have a built-in content management system. The best ones will provide hands-on guidance and customer support. Many will work on base fees, while others will work on a revenue share. Below are some of our picks, but you can read our more in-depth descriptions here.
- Mag+: A spin-out company derived from Bonnier Corp.’s very early Popular Science app, Mag+ is our go-to provider. We generally direct our niche clients their way.
- Adobe Digital Publishing Suite: The Adobe Publishing Suite is one digital magazine publishing software option that offers a complete digital publishing solution.
- Treesaver creates editions that are viewable not just on tablets, but also on desktops.
- Baker is popular for creating digital magazine apps that go in the app store, but can also publish to newsstand.
- Google Currents – Google wants you to publish in their store, so they’ve created a place to design your magazine, too. A fairly uncomplicated but not terribly sophisticated product. Also: free.
- YUDU: This company offers digital magazine publishing software in a full range. You can start with simple PDF uploads and turn them into browser-based editions and apps.
- GTxcel: Texterity and Godengo merged to create this digital magazine publishing software company which provides not just app publishing, but websites as well.
- BlueToad: Similar to GTxcel’s offerings, BlueToad provides digital magazine publishing software for digital editions and mobile apps. BlueToad takes PDFs and turns them into viewable formats online.
- PressPad: The pricing model on PressPad is tempting; it’s free to publish enhanced versions of your PDF magazine, and PressPad keeps the first $299 your app earns each month. They claim to have produced 3% of all the magazines in the newsstand.
- Issuu: You can test the digital waters for free with this company. Issuu provides a digital reader to embed on your website that allows readers to access a simple version of your magazine.
- XFlip: This digital magazine publishing software company lets you create simple flipbook versions of your magazine.
Digital Magazine Newsstands
- Apple Newsstand – With a 70% remit rate, Apple has the most popular digital magazine newsstand, and not just for that reason but because iPads still dominate the tablet market.
- Kindle Newsstand – Next up in consumer choice for reading digital magazines, the Kindle Newsstand offers a negotiable remit rate of 65%.
- Google Play – Finally, Google play offers a 60% remit rate, the lowest of the three.
You may also consider Zinio and other newsstands, but these three are the top three on our list upon launch.
Do you have any tools or tips to add? Leave them in the comments.