But there are more fundamental problems beyond the technical. Issue-based publishing forces readers into a monolothic visual and navigational metaphor that doesn’t reflect the way we gather information now. Issues are the way publishers understand content, not readers. As readers, we’re engaged by individual stories and, online, tend to pluck out just the ones we want. Digital magazines remind me of music before MP3s. Remember those bad old days? You had to buy the whole album just to have the one song you wanted. That’s how magazines feel today: all this overhead of extra content that’s sent my way whether I want it or not. Magazines smell spammy.
Josh Clark of Global Moxie wrote a really interesting piece on iOS 5’s Newstand feature and the old publication model that most publishers have adopted for the digital age.
I like the analogy he’s drawn to the music industry and singles versus albums. I can see that as a viable new model for the publishing industry: single articles at a lower cost, both for the consumer to buy and the publisher to produce.