It has been proven that consumers are willing to pay a monthly fee to gain unlimited access to massive libraries for entertainment. This can be seen in the success of Netflix, which provides consumers access to a massive library of TV shows and movies, and in the popularity of Spotify, which does the same for music.
Magzter, a magazine subscription app, is looking to take advantage of this fact by releasing an all-you-can-read option for publications such as ESPN, Maxim and Fast Company.
Magzter, established in 2011, has served as a comprehensive source for magazines, with 5,000 publications accessible through its service. However, consumers had to purchase issues or subscribe to magazines.
The app has so far grown to have 4 million monthly active users. Magzter CEO and co-founder Girish Ramdas, however, thinks that the unlimited reading option will allow the service to grow even more.
The unlimited reading option for Magzter will allow users to access around 2,000 titles, many of which are top-tier magazines, for a monthly fee of $10 in a plan named Magzter Gold. Users also have an option to sign up for a plan named Magzter Gold Lite, which allows users to gain unlimited access to five titles that they select for half the price at $5 per month. This would be for users that feel that they won't need access to all the titles available under the service. In addition, users can choose to change the five titles that they have access to monthly.
Magzter is not the first service that will attempt to create a magazine version of Netflix. In 2014, Readly was launched with the same goal, as the service offered access to over 800 titles for a monthly fee of $10. Back in 2010, Next Issue was launched, with its app allowing users to gain unlimited access to 140 publications for a similar monthly fee of $10.
Magzter does feature a library much larger compared to its rival services. However, Magzter lacks deals with several key publishers such as Time Inc., Conde Nast and Hearst, all of which are part of the Next Issue service as a joint venture with Rogers Communications, Meredith and News Corp, which owns the Wall Street Journal.
Aside from the bigger collection, Ramdas believes that Magzter provides readers with different ways to gain access to the content they want, with the users not feeling tied to a single plan.
"We think we can actually succeed in building a 'Netflix for magazines' because most of the others started off just trying to do this," said Ramdas. "They didn't have an existing user base, they didn't have the breadth of content we have. We already have a business in place and we're adding this on -- it's an expansion."
Magzter is available for smartphones and tablets running on iOS and Android, along with tablets and PCs powered by Windows 8.