Digital publishing news for October 2, 2013
The National Journal is moving its website to a more responsive design and ditching its app. AdWeek’s Lucia Moses writes, “For National Journal, its iPhone app is relatively new (introduced in April as a subscriber benefit) and hasn’t been a significant source of revenue. Meanwhile, its Web traffic from mobile devices has doubled over the past 18 months, so it needed a site that would provide a uniform experience across devices.” The National Journal is hell bent on having a single platform. Moses adds, “National Journal also had the benefit of watching its corporate sibling Quartz, the year-old business news brand that launched as a mobile-first site, forgoing apps altogether. And while apps may always make sense for other publications, the National Journal experiment is worth watching.”
Netflix For Books Launches
All Things D has a new report on Scribd’s new Netflix for books subscription service. Liz Gannes writes, “Scribd, long known for being a YouTube for online documents, is today launching a book-subscription service. The key details: It costs $8.99 per month, includes unlimited online access and an offline library of 20 books at a time, the only major publisher participating is HarperCollins, and the available books from HarperCollins will be those that are at least a year old.” Scribd felt it was time to jump into a new business but their book subscription service shouldn’t be considered a new product or service. Gannes adds, “They are just another form of online text for Scribd’s website and various apps — albeit one that costs money. Adler said the latest milestones are that Scribd has 80 million monthly unique visitors and 40 million uploaded documents.”
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New Tablet Magazine Uses Competitor Content
Talking New Media has a new report on how Architectural Debut is using content from its competitors in its new tablet app. D.B. Hebbard writes, “Luxe Media Inc. is based in British Columbia, but the new app takes its content from such European magazine sources as World Architecture News and Designboom. The new digital magazine costs $2.99 to download and is built sort of like Flipboard in that it is a series of pages containing boxes that link to the content. It is actually an interesting design idea: make the whole magazine simply be the Table of Contents, with links to the stories and a back button that takes you back to the TOC.” The app clearly cites sources and includes links back to original articles.
Hebbard wanted to know what publishers thought of Architectural Debut using its content. Hebbard writes, “So I contacted the editor of World Architecture News, Michael Hammond, and asked him if their magazine gave this new architecture magazine permission to use its content. “Many thanks for bringing this to our attention,” Hammond wrote me. “We certainly haven’t authorised this use of our content and will be looking into the matter now…”
Apple is also looking into the matter.
PopSci Associate Editor Leaves For The Dodo
The New York Observer is reporting that Dan Nosowitz is leaving Popular Science to work at new publishing startup The Dodo. The Dodo is an animal-themed startup backed by BuzzFeed chairman Ken Lerer. Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke writes, “Before Popular Science, where Mr. Nosowitz has been for three years, he was a writer at Fast Company and SmartPlanet and got his start at Gizmodo, Gawker Media’s gadget blog. But although he continued to cover tech and gadgets while at PopSci.com, Mr. Nosowitz expanded his beat to include animals.”