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article imageRogers Media bringing Next Issue e-magazine service to Canada

By Alex Guibord     Sep 28, 2013 in Technology
Like Netflix for magazines, the new Next Issue Canada app will give tablet readers on-demand access to over 100 publications, including everything from The New Yorker and Sports Illustrated to Vanity Fair.
Toronto-based Rogers Media bet big on a digital future for magazines, announcing Thursday a strategic partnership with five major U.S. publishers to launch the subscription-based app in Canada.
This iteration will bundle Rogers Media's publishing portfolio — including Canadian titles like Flare, Maclean's, Chatelaine and Canadian Business — with acknowledged U.S. titles like Rolling Stone, Fortune and GQ.
The joint venture originally started in 2009 with Meredith, Condé Nast, Hearst, Time Inc. and News Corp. Now this deal makes Rogers Media the sixth Next Issue Media partner and exclusively responsible for expanding the business model and brand to the Canadian market.
The all-you-can-read magazine app brings many popular titles to iOS, Android and Windows 8 tablets for a flat fee. The Canadian operation will adopt the same pricing model as the U.S. version: $9.99 per month for monthly publications or pay $14.99 per month to enjoy weekly magazines, too.
Many public libraries across Canada already offer the Zinio app — similarly a digital magazine distribution service, but offered free of charge to library cardholders.
Ken Whyte, president of Rogers Publishing Ltd., will head Next Issue Canada. His career notably includes terms as the National Post's editor-in-chief and publisher of Maclean's.
"The Next Issue platform is the future of magazine content consumption," Whyte, 53, said in a media release. "It was the first all-you-can-read subscription digital magazine service, serving up the world's best magazines in a format that enhances what readers love about magazines: the sensory experience, the stunning visuals, in-depth content and the discovery of the unexpected."
Next Issue's U.S. customers will also receive Rogers Communications Inc's specialty, print, broadcast and online media assets as per the agreement. This expands the company's media and publishing arm in the American market.
Rogers will sneak peek the service to its wireless and cable subscribers this Oct. 15. Non-Rogers customers can gain access two months later on Dec. 15.
A version for francophone Canadians will tentatively get released sometime next year.
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