Last month saw the launch of MagVault, a fairly comprehensive UK magazine search service. According to Talking News Media, the service “searches Apple, Google and Amazon as well as individual publishers to find the right magazine in the right format.”
TNM’s D.B. Hebbard quotes founder Neil Morgan as saying “We created Magvault to be as easy as a trip to the newsagents – better, really, because you get to browse only the categories you really like and you get better deals by going online.”
The idea is to aid discoverability and make it easier for readers to find the magazines they want in the format that works best for them, often at a discounted price.
A quick search of MagVault showed the system has some bugs — we searched for Bloomberg Businessweek and were offered that title plus Dogs Monthly, Attitude and Gay Times as potential matches. Not exactly spot on, but we get the idea.
Bugs aside, we can see where this might take off, and help break down some of the barriers to digital magazine readership.
As Hebbard says, “MagVault is designed, of course, to address the increasing issue of discoverability. With more and more physical magazine newsstands disappearing, and with multiple digital newsstands and app stores having been created, find[ing] the right title, in the right format, can prove difficult.”
Still, for many readers, you can’t beat the experience of browsing the newsstands and flipping through those glossies. That never gets old to us.