Fast Company and Adobe partner on state of the art digital magazine app
Fast Company is bypassing the Apple Newsstand with its new digital magazine app, powered by Adobe’s latest suite of publishing tools.
The app – released in the Business category of the App Store – runs responsively on both the iPad and iPhone, and combines the magazine’s content each month with continually updated news feeds – drawing from properties FastCoDesign.com, FastCoCreate.com, and FastCoExist.com – and curated articles from Fast Company editors.
The content will be free for at least the first three months, with plans to charge in the future, according to Talking New Media, which also reported that Fast Company‘s most recent data showed that digital subscriptions accounted for just 3.5% of its readership. The MPA (Association of Magazine Media) will host a webinar on March 24 that will include discussion of “possible business models and monetization.”
So, as sleek and impressive as this digital magazine app is, its objectives are nothing new: audience development and engagement.
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“Why not offer those users a unified app-based experience that lives on both iPad and iPhone? The new app does not sit within Apple’s Newsstand, so the content can be a click or two closer for users. And the app and all its content is being offered free to consumers at launch,” wrote Editor Robert Safian in Fast Company‘s February 24 announcement.
“In our beta testing – to a universe of 700 volunteers – the feedback on the experience and the content was strongly positive. As the app is opened up to wider users, we’ll learn more. We believe this app provides a step forward for our users, a better experience for iPhone and iPad users than they can get elsewhere. We also know that this is just the beginning, that the relationship between apps and mobile sites is still evolving, that we need to provide better tools for those on Android and other non-iOs devices, that even our fresh-from-the-gate app needs additional features that aren’t feasible on Adobe’s platform yet, but will be in the months ahead.”
Adobe, meanwhile, will branch out from Fast Company in the months following this roll-out. Its new digital publishing suite is aiming to make mobile-first a reality for magazines, while strengthening those magazines’ brands with a flexible, immersive, and reader-friendly experience. Adobe’s technology does not come cheap, but it’s definitely worth a look if you’re in the market. Our preference – and our partnership – is with Mag+, which we believe is a better match for niche multiplatform publishers.
What do you think of Fast Company‘s new digital magazine app, and its decision to cut out the Apple Newsstand? Let us know in the comments!