Netflix for Magazines Arrives on iPad

Dave Zatz —  July 10, 2012


“Netflix for Magazines” has arrived in the form of Next Issue. Originally available only via Android tablets beginning in April, Next Issue has now launched an iPad app. And, after catching the press release on Engadget, I took it for a very quick spin. While the venture, backed by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc., provide individual magazine subscriptions, its real value is the all-you-can eat access. Two tiers of service are offerred, running $10 a month for “Basic” or $15/mo for “Premium.” The primary differentiator between service levels of publication frequency — Basic seems to be composed of monthlies, while Premium adds weeklies (and The New Yoker) on top of that.

As a voracious reader, I find myself quite interested in Next Issue and many of their current 39 titles… as long as magazines continue to exist. Yet, after a few minutes into the app, I’m ready to cancel my subscription. It does offer some rudimentary interactive features and decent navigation, but the content ultimately feels like scanned pages due to the inability to zoom in/out and the painfully distracting aliased text – as experienced on the iPad 3. The full page interstitial ads don’t win points, either. I can probably get past the ads and zoom, but the awful text rendering is an absolute deal breaker. And, so, I shall terminate my trial early and take another look if/when they improve their fonts for a retina display.

7 responses to Netflix for Magazines Arrives on iPad

  1. Zinio has the same problem with a lot of their mags. I was initially ready to cancel and go back to my paper sub, but I gave it a chance and it was totally worth it. Love having my entire magazine library on my iPad.

  2. Forgot to mention, a lot of Apple Newstand mags have these problems too.

  3. And once again Dave Zatz has saved me from buying a product I won’t like.

    Thank you!

  4. Starting at $9.99 a month….meh.

  5. I don’t have an iPad so this question maybe be obvious to those that do. Doesn’t Wired (and maybe others) have a dedicated app for subscribers? How is the functionality of the dedicated app (rendering quality / interactivity) vs. Next Issue? I get the price bonus but if they can’t get the same quality is it worth it?

  6. This existed for regular print magazines and they went out of business in… May, I believe. ( I had been a customer for a year. You could swap out the magazines you got every month and your paid by the tier of how many magazines you got. It was still cheaper than newstand prices, and I’d order more gossip rags for months I traveled a lot for work. I’m a little excited that there is a similar digital service now.

  7. Bryan, there are a decent number of stand alone magazine apps. But I haven’t really cared for the fee structure and thus haven’t checked them out, so I can’t say. I do like this ‘all you can eat’ model and the fee isn’t unreasonable to me… assuming they better present the content.