New computer magazine publishes only online

Could this could be the new model of what the technology press should be doing – publishing only online, not in print?

In November, UK publisher Cranberry Publishing Ltd launched Home Computer Magazine as a free magazine designed specifically for online publishing:

Unlike some other emagazines you might have seen, this one is not a printed magazine published electronically. It is a magazine designed for electronic distribution, which means it takes advantage of the positive points this offers. For example, the magazine is designed in landscape format so that it fits your monitor screen, we have included live URL links and embedded animated pictures instead of the static ones you get on the printed page.

And from the launch press release:

Cranberry Publishing Ltd, a specialist magazine publisher set up by experienced consumer magazine publisher, David Taylor, has launched the first free, interactive computer magazine. Home Computer Magazine is written by professionals, designed to the exacting standards of print magazines, but has all the additional features offered by electronic delivery. Published in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format, the magazine requires no additional reader software and features interactive content that is beyond anything seen before in an emagazine.

According to the magazine FAQ, it’s supported wholly by advertising: “The advertising is restricted to a single left hand column on the pages and the typical file size for a page’s advertising is under 20Kb, so it’s not much. Clearly, we exist through advertising revenue, so we’d prefer it if you didn’t ignore the advertising, but that’s your choice.”

Earlier this month, I asked how long will it be before traditional print magazines die off because of the internet, suggesting that technology magazines must take into account the demographic changes that influence how people prefer to read magazines, and adapt accordingly. I said that if I had to choose between paying for a magazine’s print or online version, I’d choose online.

In that post, though, I was talking about magazines with web versions of their printed publications. Here we have a magazine designed for online consumption only, not a printed magazine adapted for online delivery. And it’s free to the reader.

Is this a viable publishing model? Well, they’re on their second edition so far. They have embraced BitTorrent as part of making the magazine easily downloadable and distributable. There’s an RSS feed on topics. Email subscription. So perhaps that’s a question to ask once they’ve hit their sixth edition.

I wish them all success. Take a look – Home Computing Magazine.

2 thoughts on “New computer magazine publishes only online

  1. Digital paper is probably years away yet as a commercial application, as it were. Reading on a laptop is feasible, although I haven’t tried it in the bog yet!
    For me, the only thing about this new mag that I question is: Why do it as a PDF? Why not as a website? All you then need is a browser.

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