There has been a lot of sturm and drang in New York about transitioning the magazine business to the iPad. Bloomberg jumped into the game today with the release of Business Week for the iPad, and it seems to have solved some of the key problems that held back other titles.
For one thing, Bloomberg didn’t try and jazz up the issue with all kinds of rich multimedia. Cynics might say that means their app is lacking innovation or failing to exploit this new medium. But as Nick Bilton points out, it took him longer to download the new issue of Wired than it did to leave the house, drive to a book store and return home with the paper copy. Business Week, clocking in at around 30 MB, is a quick download.
When stories are shared from the Business Week app through Twitter or Facebook, they provide a link that take folks to a real version of the article on Bloomberg’s website. As Betabeat pointed out last week, this is a major issue with apps like The Daily, which takes users to a strange, static image of the article when clicking through a Twitter link. Perhaps that’s why sharing at The Daily has been falling since launch.
Finally there is the price point. It’s $2.99 for a four issue digital subscription, compared to $4.99 for a single print issue. That means the price for a digital issue is competitive with subscribing to print, a compliment that cannot be paid to a number of Business Week’s competitors. Bloomberg has also throw its chips in with Apple, signing on for their digital billing. All in all a more lightweight, lean and web connected magazine app than any we’ve seen so far.