The Publisher-friendly Apple alternative gets detailed.
Next Issue Media CEO Morgan Guenther may be that rarest of things: a man in the right place, at the right time.
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Tablets just now starting to take off. The iPad has kickstarted another mobile revolution, one that many in the publishing industry think may prove critical. Tablets are perfect devices to read a magazine on, but the best way to distribute them remains up to dispute.
Morgan Guenther believes that his company has the magazine storefront of the future. He's called Next Issue Media Hulu for Magazines and considers the service "a game-changer". While Guenther's claims pack a lot of hubris, he has some serious backers that don't seem to mind the chest-beating.
Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc. are not small players. They see a future in Next Issue Media. Why?
For one thing, NIM has done an excellent job of articulating clearly what their service will do in order to succeed.
1. Support multiple platforms. Apple, Google and Microsoft for starters.
2. Single-authentication, so users don't need to keep logging in to access their content.
3. Easy content discovery.
4. Owned and/or shared use of customer data.
Next Issue Media has decided to support Android first, and an app should hit the Market in early 2011. It isn't clear yet how many or which titles will be free or what the profit split between publisher/NIM will be.
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The details of Next Issue Media's storefront are still woefully obscured, but it seems that Guenther's vision is a massive cross-platform storefront that uses customer data to tailor advertisements and results lists to individual users. We can expect a more favorable (to publishers) price scheme than Apple offers (they take 30%) and a great deal of Android tablet support.