Next Issue Media intros unique digital magazine subscription model

Even as digital magazines finally start to catch on, Next Issue Media is already aiming to redefine the market with a dramatically different digital subscription model.For reference, Next Issue Media is an independent media venture founded by five of the major global publishing houses (Conde Nast, Meredith, Hearst, News Corp.

Even as digital magazines finally start to catch on, Next Issue Media is already aiming to redefine the market with a dramatically different digital subscription model.

For reference, Next Issue Media is an independent media venture founded by five of the major global publishing houses (Conde Nast, Meredith, Hearst, News Corp., and Time) to translate their paperback glossies to the mobile, digital world.

NIM has been growing over the last year by developing a cross-publisher, a cross-title platform that is scalable to be rolled out to different styles of publishing and genres on various devices.

Now, Next Issue is introducing a full-featured version of the digital newsstand app it introduced last May.

So here's how it works. Traditional magazine subscription models (paid or digital) usually operate on a yearly basis for copies of a one magazine title.

Next Issue is turning that idea on its head with an "all-you-can-read" type of scheme. For $9.99 per month, you could have unlimited access to as many digital monthly and bi-weekly magazines in Next Media's arsenal as you want.

Bump that up to $14.99 per month, and you can get the weeklies, such as Sports Illustrated or Time, included in the unlimited monthly deal.

At least 32 titles will be available at launch time, with more promised to be added over the course of 2012.

Next Issue's new digital newsstand subscriptions will first launch on Android tablets running Honeycomb and above. A submission to Apple's iTunes App Store is also expected in the next couple of months.

That might prove tricky considering Apple's existing Newsstand app for iOS devices and its in-app purchasing scheme that has proved to be prickly to many publishers and developers.

Nevertheless, Next Issue Media CEO Morgan Guenther remained optimistic when I asked him about it, explaining that Next Issue's platform and subscription model is really a different type of product and skew.

"You want to buy a single issue, you can buy it from us, you can buy it from Apple," Guenther clarified. "If you want [Next Media's] offer, it doesn’t compete directly with individual titles or applications."

Screenshot via Next Issue Media

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