Is this the iTunes for magazine content?

While magazines move from talking about Paywalls to actually raising them there are other companies that are looking to offer different, more flexible solutions. We had a very interesting talk with a long-established company (Icopyight) some time ago and will publish our article here soon. Then there is Journalism online, the company of industry veterans Steven Brill, L. Gordon Crovitz and Leo Hindery Jr that has signed on over 1.000 publications but is yet to unveil their business model. Now there is Maggwire, a site that allready aggregates magazine content but now wants to become ‘The iTunes of magazines’ with their Maggwire premium product that they are preparing for launch next year.

The founders of the company feel that hit by the recession’s drop in advertising dollars magazines’ defense has been massive reductions of subscription rates in order to maintain circulation numbers  hey quote Samir Husni, Director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi who said: “This defensive approach has been coined “magazine suicide” by, we need to think offensively, not defensively. Maggwire offers new hope.””

Maggwire Premium will launch in 2010 and give users access to  articles from hundreds of magazine titles on a per “channel”–or per topic–basis for a flat monthly fee per channel. Maggwire Premium will also include features such as user-driven behavior-based personalization and predictive content caching.

Co-founder and CEO, Ryan Klenovich describes the service as an immersive experience no other form of media can replicate and an open platform, accessible from any phone, computer or digital reader; “Just as iTunes proved people will pay for reliable music downloads, people will pay for a personalized magazine experience that delivers reliable content.”

Co-founder and COO, Jian Chai says, “This is an exciting time to reinvent today’s magazine industry. If we remain flexible and responsive, there are tremendous opportunities ahead.” He points out, “Magazines have achieved limited innovation compared to music, videos and books. Now we finally have a product focused on delivering an incredible experience to readers, while helping magazine publishers and advertisers reach their goals.”

The New York Observer published an interview with the three founders who are former Wall Street investment analysts. In the interview; Ryan Klenovich, 24 said:  “We’re going to do for magazines what iTunes did for music.” via Selling Magazines, Piece by Piece | The New York Observer

These companies base their business models against the background of the debate about wether to grow revenues through advertising, paid content or a mix of the two.

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses