It's being called kind of a Netflix for magazines, and the description is apt. Five top U.S. publishers have gotten together to provide an iPad app that lets you read a great variety of magazines at a price of U.S. $9.99-$14.99 per month. The new company is called Next Issue and it's a rather bold idea.
The publishers are Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc. Magazines included in the 'Unlimited Basic plan' at $9.99 are All You, Allure, Better Homes and Gardens, Bon Appétit, Brides, Car and Driver, Coastal Living, Condé Nast Traveler, Cooking Light, ELLE, Esquire, Essence, Fitness, Fortune, Glamour, Golf, Golf Digest, GQ, Health, InStyle, Money, Parents, People en Español, People StyleWatch, Popular Mechanics, Real Simple, Self, Southern Living, Sports Illustrated Kids, Sunset, This Old House, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired.
The Unlimited Premium plan, which is $14.99, has all the above titles plus weeklies and back issues of Entertainment Weekly, People, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker and Time.
More magazines will be added over time, and the company will no doubt try to interest other publishers to join in.
"Customers will see their magazines come to life in spectacular fashion," said John Loughlin, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Hearst Magazines. "Next Issue for iPad delivers an immersive and engaging experience, while the technology seems to disappear and get out of the way."
The company says 30-day free trials are available for all subscription plans and print subscribers can add digital editions of the same titles for free or a nominal cost. If you want the free trial you can't do it from within the app. You must go to nextissue.com. You give them a credit card number, and if you don't cancel you'll start getting billed after your free month. Not my favorite way of doing a free trial, but there you are.
I gave the app a try and signed up for the trial. There's a good selection of magazines, but more than half were of no interest to me. Even then, the pricing is pretty good and quite a bit below what I considered some of the extortionate pricing for electronic magazine subscriptions before Next Issue came on the scene.
If you're a voracious reader, I think Next Issue is certainly worth the free trial, and kudos to the companies involved for trying something new and more reasonably priced.