Reader’s Digest introduces iPhone edition to reach new generation of readers
By Chantal Tode
December 17, 2013
The cover of Reader's Digest's Jan. 2014 issue
Reader’s Digest has unveiled a new iPhone application for on-the-go readers as part of a bigger cross-channel revamp focused on enhancing the reader experience.
Reader’s Digest already offers numerous mobile apps for the iPhone around specific topics such as jokes, scenic drives and easy meals as well an iPad edition of the print magazine. The new addition will make it easy for iPhone users to discover all of the content of the magazine while on the go.
“Reader’s Digest has always been at the forefront of technology and digital products,” said Kerrie Keegan, managing director of content operations at Reader’s Digest, New York.
“We were one of the first magazines to launch an iPad edition,” she said. “A smartphone app is a natural extension of our brand and allows us to present our content in a refreshing, exciting new way.
“We’ve launched our app simultaneously with the tablet, magazine and Web site redesigns, so they have all informed one another and come together in a harmonious way. For example, new design features that were created especially for the mobile phone app were so exciting that we decided to apply them to our interactive tablet editions and vice versa.
The new iPhone edition was designed for iOS 7 and contains all of the same content as the print and iPad editions.
The app was developed to help Reader’s Digest – which has been published since 1922 – to connect with a new generation of readers in a way that is meaningful to them no matter where they are. The publication has a global circulation of 10.5 million.
New mobile subscribers receive a 30-day free trial on the iPhone and iPad. Subscriptions are available for one month at $1.99 and for one year at $14.99.
Print subscribers receive six-months of free access to the iPhone and iPad editions.
The app includes a preview for both the iPhone and iPad editions of the magazine.
Reader’s Digest is also leveraging mobile to help promote the new look, with smartphone users able to text the keyword readup to the short code 51684 to receive a free digital download of the January issue.
Readers can also visit the mobile-optimized Web site www.rd.com/free to download their free digital copy.
Reader’s Digest is also supporting the revamp with national advertising in print, digital and broadcast media.
The new streamlined look and enhanced reader experience makes its debut with the January 2014 issue of Reader’s Digest. It features a new logo, uplifting, entertaining and useful stories in a variety of lengths and styles as well as the publication’s well-known reader anecdotes, jokes and one-liners.
The redesign was undertaken with the goal of keeping the brand fresh and modern.
The brand’s Web site, which has 5 million digital users, has also been refreshed to reflect the new clean, streamlined design.
Reader’s Digest is also available for download on the Kindle Fire, Sony Reader and from Zinio.
“[The publication has] been pared down and developed specifically for a mobile reading experience,” Ms. Keegan said. “The layout and navigation have been simplified.
“We went to great lengths to assure the product is both functional and enjoyable,” she said. “The beauty of designing for digital products is that you have the flexibility to constantly test and evolve, on a daily basis, without the time limitations you face with print.”
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
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