As more consumers adapt to eReading on smart phones and tablet computers, Zinio is helping magazine and specialty title publishers turn the page to digital distribution. The Zinio App for the iPad is one of the most popular apps available on iTunes. In today's Meet the Makers, we sit down with Zinio Chief Marketing Officer Jeanniey Mullen to discuss her company's transition to the larger screen as well as the benefits of "synchronized entitlement."
Company name: Zinio, LLC
Platforms (iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.) iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PC, Mac, Linux and, in beta, Android.
Specialty genres: Digital reading
Company size: Over 140 employees worldwide
In your opinion, how has the iPhone, iPad and Apple's iTunes App Store changed the media industry?
These devices and platforms have catapulted the publishing industry into a new era of opportunity. This is just the beginning. The iPhone and iPod touch came bounding into the market and introduced mobile publishing and reading possibilities that consumers embrace. The iPad has extended this compelling offer onto a larger screen, very much in line with the printed product, but in a new, more dynamic and high-definition manner. The iPad offers unparalleled consumer experiences with content, as well as significant opportunities for magazine publishers and advertisers to expand their readers’ use occasions and enhance reading experiences. iTunes and “iDevices” are a complementary addition to the ZINIO UNITY platform because they aid us in offering reading fans the benefit of a “synchronized entitlement,” where they pay for content once and access it broadly across various Zinio-enabled devices in an optimized format.
Describe the differences between developing apps for the iPhone, iPad and other platforms.
At Zinio, we approach the app market in a unique manner; we define which apps make the most sense for us based on to which screen sizes our readers are most drawn. From there, we define a screen-size approach to optimizing a design and find the largest applicable apps with which to engage in this arena. Here are some of our specific thoughts around app design provided by Brian Yu, Director of Product Management for Zinio’s mobile reading products. His role in developing Zinio’s app was primarily setting the development road map and identifying what features to include, while also serving as an important "gatekeeper" for the overall UX process.
What factors go into how you ultimately price your apps?
We believe in the “buy-once-read-anywhere strategy.” This means our apps are free, as access to reading should have no barriers. Once inside, readers have the freedom to choose what they want to read, and how they want to purchase: single issues, back issues, annual subs. The choice is that of the consumers.
Describe what your dream app for the iPhone/iPad would look like.
Quoting our Director of Product Management Brian Yu: "I want an app that replaces my credit card so I don't have to carry cash or a card. I could just pay with my iPhone or iPad. On second thought, I want an app that provides a digital version of my driver's license, too, so I don't have to carry that around."