Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Ongoing Discussion on Magazine Apps - Web vs. Native

Much has been written about Magazine Tablet Apps - some people touting them as a success, others as a failure.  This discussion often overlooks the entire digital ecosystem used by magazine readers.  It really shouldn't be an either/or decision for publishers, but rather an AND decision.  As the mobile web improves with HTML5 emerging standards, much of what required a native App in the past is available on the Mobile Web.  This makes it seamless for subscribers and readers to access their favorite Magazine content--anywhere/anytime a reader has access to any device.  Publishers that adopt a "buy one" subscription model for any device and in print, are ahead of the game and encourage ongoing engagement -without having to go through the unwieldy App Stores each time they have a few minutes to browse.

In addition BtoB publishers who offer advertising driven magazine content also benefit greatly from the search discovery available via a Web App.  Currently this is not readily available in native magazine Apps.

Many device users also want to sample and test content and App usability before committing to use up their precious homescreen real estate (and time) to install an App icon. 

I think it is fair to say, that Native Apps do play a key role for those magazine subscribers/readers who engage in a significant/ongoing way with magazine content.  But for those who just periodically want to engage or search for deep content while on the go, a Web App fills that need in a great way.

Here is a great article that covers this area that I thought you might enjoy:

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