Next Issue Media, the digitized magazine and newspaper newsstand, has added several more titles from company backers Hearst and Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) to its preview edition and struck new distribution agreements with several mobile device makers. However, as it prepares for its full-feature product release for some time in the early part of 2012, the magazine industry joint venture still doesn’t have a presence in Apple’s iTunes Store.
Next Issue’s newsstand app, which allows readers to buy single issue and subscriptions to digital replica magazines and newspapers from its joint venture backers Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith (NYSE: MDP), News Corp. (NSDQ: NWS) and Time Inc., has been available for the Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android powered Samsung Galaxy since last spring.
As of today, Next Issue’s app can be accessed on a range of tablets from its distribution partners Motorola (NYSE: MMI), Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Toshiba and service provider Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ). The Next Issue app is also available through its website — but it will only run on Android devices, so that means Kindle Fire owners can access it too.
Next Issue is often asked about whether and when it will be available on Apple’s iPad. With Next Issue’s publisher backers pleased with sales downloads since Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) finally debuted its own digital magazine and newspaper stand in early October, Next Issue is clearly fulfilling its mandate as covering alternatives to Apple’s tightly controlled system, which happens to exact a 30 percent take of iTunes App Store download revenues.
While it’s hard to think of two competing newsstands in Apple’s iTunes store, there are still plenty of magazines that remain outside the official iTunes newsstand app, such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek and Time magazine. Therefore, it’s conceivable that Next Issue could represent those digital periodical apps within the Apple system at some point.
In the meantime, Next Issue is working on getting 40 titles on its newsstand by the end of the year. The newest available digital magazine replicas now include Car and Driver, Coastal Living, ELLE, Golf and Real Simple, which will appear alongside existing offerings such as Better Homes & Gardens, Esquire, People, The New Yorker, Time and Sports Illustrated.