On the surface it would appear to be a can’t-fail recipe – take a digital-only publication like Allrecipes, launch a successful print version, and then release a tablet version of the magazine.
And yet, somehow, the replica Newsstand app leaves cooking aficionados and aspiring gourmets feeling a bit, well, flat.
According D.B. Hebbard in Talking New Media, “The new Newsstand app for Allrecipes is especially disappointing because of the brand’s digital origins, but the disappointment is compounded when one considers that this is a cooking magazine.”
By going with a tablet-based replica of the printed magazine, instead of creating a true native version, Meredith seems to have over-looked one of the key things about their readers: They use the magazine when cooking.
Explains Hebbard, “Cooking magazines for tablets have been experimenting with the platform from the beginning and if there is one thing readers seem to agree on, it is that the replica edition is not appropriate. Readers want to be able to access the recipes in landscape, they don’t want to have to struggle to read the ingredients and cooking instructions, etc.”
And he offers a fairly simple solution: “do a complete replica in portrait, but have the recipe pages offer a “cooking mode” that produces pages in landscape.” Seems obvious.
There has been a lot of talk about Newsstand apps and whether or not they offer an easy way out for publishers. What’s key here is to think about the end user and how that content will be consumed. Allrecipes, while deserving a shout out for making the bold move to print a formerly digital-only title, needs to put their app back into development and bake it a little bit longer.