Next Issue Media, a company that was going to have the hot digital news stand property in 2011, is launching that news stand tomorrow.
They're going to offer 32 magazines when their app and site relaunches tomorrow, but you won't find them on your PC or on most tablets. The titles are coming from 4 of the 5 backers of the startup: Hearst, Time, Meredith, and Conde Nast. NewsCorp owns a chunk but they haven't contributed any of their titles just yet.
Curiously enough, the news stand isn't launching just yet on the hottest tablet on the market; it's going to be Android only for the time being and will require 3.0 Honeycomb at a minimum. You'll be able to read as many issues as you want for a low subscription fee of $10 for the monthly and biweekly titles, or $15 a month for everything, including the weeklies like Time. Other titles include New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Esquire, Elle, and Better Homes and Gardens. An iPad app is in the works and they expect to submit it to Apple in the next couple months.
If you read these magazines on a regular basis it's not a bad deal. The subscription includes access to back issues, though that only goes back to January of this year. You'll also have the option of an offline reading mode, and there's a free 30-day trial for new subscribers. There are no sharing or social networking features yet but NIM has said that they are on the to do list.
This looks to be a great experiment, but what about the rest of us? The app isn't available to Kindle Fire or Nook Color/Tablet owners, and there goes 10 million potential customers. Next issue Media has also chosen to exclude about 95% of Android owners, and let's not even mention the iPad owners. I have to wonder if they've limited themselves too much. The userbase is awfully small. But it's still something worth keeping an eye on.