Digital magazine vendors will tell you that their growth has been phenomenal—anywhere from 25 to 50 percent a year for the last two to three years. That’s one good reason why the industry has gone from a handful of pioneers four or five years ago to an explosion of low-cost solutions.
“There have to be 20 of what I call the ‘flash guys,’” says Cimarron Buser, VP, marketing and product planning for Texterity. “They get a flash program and write a piece of code that will work for a magazine, but the publishing industry needs a lot more than ‘whiz-bang’ technology.”
It probably does look easy to produce a digital magazine—just take a PDF and give it a page flip—but a lot more goes on in the background, according to Nxtbook Media marketing director Marcus Grimm. The technology offered by the large vendors integrates with search engines, provides tracking data for the magazine, and is more feature-rich than the products that a lot of the smaller companies offer.
Not so fast, say some of those that offer the simpler solution. While Olive Software, which has been in the business for seven years, is a full-service vendor with major publisher clients, vice president of marketing Nicole Miller points out that small publishers with low-circulation magazines or newsletters need a low-cost, easy way of producing something other than a PDF. “We’ve taken our platform and made it easy for a client to upload a PDF and receive a URL within minutes that links to an online digital document. It’s primarily just a flipper,” she says, “but they can then e-mail the link to their subscribers or post it on their Web site.”
Proliferating Digital Providers
In the last few years, the number of digital-magazine suppliers has exploded. Some of
the current players in the market, either with their own solutions or working with partners.
Advanced Publishing • Bango • Blue Toad • Brown Printing • Cadmus/Cenveo • CDS • Creel Printing • Dirxion • DMG Inc. • E-Book Systems • iDigital Edition • Imirus • Just Systems • Lane Press • LinkPath • Magazooms/Alqemy • NewsStand • Nxtbook Media • Olive Software • Pressmart • ProofItOnline • Publishers Press • Qmags • Quebecor World • Sheridan Magazine Services • Texterity • Zendition • Zinio