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The tablet magazine opportunity is not all about iPad apps.
Although nearly half of U.S. magazine publishers have launched iPad apps, about the same proportion are also on the Nook device’s Newsstand and Zinio’s cross-platform newsstand.
That makes Nook Newsstand and Zinio the second most popular platform for publishers after iOS (not including the web). And Nook added the most publishers between May and August.
Where does that leave Android apps? Still languishing. only 21 percent of U.S. magazine publishers are currently distributing through Android apps, according to McPheters.
However, it may be true to say that other platforms like Nook and Zinio are more likely to play host to replica page-turners than dedicated interactive app editions, as iPad editions are.
“Unfortunately, the majority of magazine apps are still minimally enhanced PDF replicas, and it seems as if the advent of the iOS Newsstand – and perhaps the Kindle Fire – may be contributing to an increasing trend in this direction,” according to the McPheters report. “The publications available on the Fire are likely to skew heavily towards replicas.”
McPheters founder Rebecca McPheters tells paidContent: “Since mid-October, we have seen a spate of replicas from publishers like Hearst
and Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX)that had previously published mostly high-quality apps that take full advantage of the iPad’s capabilities.”
Correction (Nov 23, 2011): Time Inc tells paidContent: “We do not produce PDF replicas. We are the only magazine publisher to design our magazine apps 100 percent specifically designed for tablet.” McPheters & Company now acknowledges Time’s magazines are not straight “replicas”, but points: “In contrast to apps launched earlier by Time Inc. – such as People, SI, and Time – their recent introductions are only minimally enhanced, making very little use of rich media.”