Need to know what competing advertisers are doing in a local market? And need to know in, say, 10 seconds?
Zinio, an online magazine subscription site, offers a quick look into a range of publications as part of its free trials. Hit the main site, go to regional pubs, pick a market, and you’ll see onscreen the entire publication in its original hardcopy format, ads and all. A nice tool for competitive research.
Sure, Zinio. Use Playboy to get our attention.
Zinio offers magazine downloads to your computer or laptop that retain the exact layout of the magazines in their shiny paper glory. The trick is you still have to pay for the electronic copies (Macword is $19.97 for 12 issues, Cosmo $12 for 12).
This spring, Zinio has a special promotion allowing iPhone users to subscribe to free magazines, from BusinessWeek to Playboy. Zinio does have a beautiful Reader program, and using it you can’t help but realize that most HTML layouts still suck. While online layouts have lousy composition and encourage you to click away on any link that triggers your ADD, magazine layouts are designed in a beautiful chronological fashion.
Zinio probably hopes that users of new, better mobile screens will get hooked on magazines that look like the real thing in their hand. Maybe, but we’ll see if these users pay once the promo is over.