A new digital magazine publishing service debuted today with the release of the first issue of The Loop magazine.
TypeEngine promises to make it easier to publish digital magazines for the iPad and iPhone. The service was founded by Jamie Smyth, the CEO of The Smyth Group, along with designer Daniel Genser.
For a low monthly fee, TypeEngine can be used to publish weekly, bimonthly, or monthly issues of a digital magazine. This service supplies all the functions needed to publish a The Magazine type of digital magazine in iTunes, including everything from creating an issue, adding media, and previewing an issue.
I first learned about TypeEngine a couple months ago, and I've been keeping my eye on it ever since. It's my bet that this service could have as great of an affect on digital magazine publishing as WordPress did on blogs and web content.
Subcompact publishing has been a hot idea ever since The Magazine launched last October, with a half dozen different publications launching to cover a diverse number of topics. All those digital magazines had very little in common, but one detail they did share was that the creators had to sweat both the technical details of building an app and distributing content as well as creating and editing content worth paying for.
TypeEngine is designed to remove one of the headaches, enabling publishers to devote their entire attention to the content. That is going to put publishing a digital magazine within reach of talented writers with all levels of technical skills.
The debut title on TypeEngine was created by Jim Dalrymple, a veteran tech blogger and publisher of the leading Apple tech blog The Loop. The magazine will be run as a complement to the blog with exclusive content. It will be published on a bimonthly schedule with a subscription of $1.99. The first issue will contain articles by 6 writers and is available now in iTunes.