Digital Publishing New Publishing Tech

Q&A: Readly, the digital magazine subscription service

Headquartered in Sweden, Readly is the world’s best known global magazine subscription platform – it offers readers unlimited access to more than 3,200 titles in a single app. WNIP caught up with Ranj Begley, Readly’s UK MD and Chief Content Officer, to find out more about their current and future plans.

Can you give our readers some background about your company?

Readly is a digital magazine subscription service that gives users unlimited access to more than 3,200 national and international magazines via an app. The service is fast, easy to use and includes the latest magazines and back issues too.

Readly was founded in Sweden in 2013 and has been gaining momentum in the UK since 2014. Our approach is all about driving growth for the magazine industry and working with publishers to bring new people into the industry to read more content. As digital reading becomes popular on a global scale, we are entering new territories and expanding the business globally.

What business problem is your company addressing?

For some years, publishers have been trying to gain traction for their digital products whether those are their own websites, apps or digital editions of their core print magazines. Readly has created a solution with a service that is easy-to-use for both readers whilst at the same time helping publishers promote their magazines to wider audiences.

Our experience shows that publishers are using Readly for three key reasons:

Strategic audience development. We reach a new audience and grow the brand footprint. Our own analysis and that of publishers both show that there is minimal overlap between a brand’s existing print readership and the digital reach we provide. Digital readers are new and they are reading in new ways – what we call “dynamic reading.” This means snacking much more than print readers, accessing their digital editions more frequently and open to experiment and try new titles.

Tactical subscription delivery. We can deliver significant volumes of auditable readers at zero risk and with zero marketing costs.

Practical audience insight.We can deliver granular data on how readers engage with both editorial and advertising content. This is based on real usage not just a small sample or in unnatural research conditions.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

Readly is building a consumer presence that few individual publishers can match on their own with an all-you-can-read subscription model which is well understood by consumers and proven by companies such as Netflix and Spotify.

The result is that Readly offers a new route to market that complements other activities that publishers may be undertaking, including their own direct-to-consumer promotions and helps get more people to read their titles, more regularly.

How does your product/solution work?

For Readers: Quality, trusted, curated content with easy navigation across every magazine the same way you would read a print magazine but with an increasing range of smart features to optimize the magazine such as mobile optimised content, favourite selection, article search and sharing and offline reading. These all help to make the user experience easier and better so they can make full use of Readly wherever they may be.

For Publishers: Simple transfer of print-ready PDF files to Readly for conversion to the app so the magazine appears exactly as the published it.  Using existing publisher technology with no additional set-up costs involved. Furthermore, as Readly promotes the service to the broad consumer market and users can access as many titles as they choose, more people are reading more content so it benefits all.

We recently launched ‘Readly Exclusive’ in the UK, a new service offering readers access to special, unique content available only through the Readly app. Exclusive content is central to the growth of the leading film and music streaming services. Publishers have an opportunity to distribute and test unique content, build their brand, gain insights on reading behaviours while increasing revenue with little upfront cost or risk. It’s win, win.

What are other people doing in the space and why?

Although many companies, including publishers themselves, are active in the digital edition space, no one in the UK is doing quite what Ready is offering or at the scale – bringing a new way of reading and paying for digital magazines to a new, digitally-savvy audience.

Pricing?

£7.99 per month all-you-can-read, open-ended subscription with a two week free trial.

How you do view the future?

While we are under no illusions about the need to keep constantly innovating and improving our service for both consumers and publishers, we feel that after 5 years of operating we have a proven and established place in the market providing quality, curated content. 

The biggest issue facing the magazine business is simply getting lost in the background noise of the internet, social media and the general busy-ness of modern life and challenging perceptions with ‘fake news’. Readly is another powerful tool in the publisher toolkit that is helping to keep magazine reading, whatever the platform – print or digital – alive in a new and wildly competitive world.

Any other things we should know about?

Yes, visit www.readly.com!

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