Yesterday, Sports Illustrated group editor Terry McDonell unveiled the magazine’s new app edition, saying that it will run on HTML5 and users would be able to access it from tablets like the iPad as well as good old-fashioned Web browsers.
AdAge notes that McDonell presented the app at a Google event, and that the SI app’s unveiling coincides with the rollout of a Google app store. Says AdAge:
Although Sports Illustrated has always said the app it first described last December would appear on every platform possible, the magazine industry has been focusing on app editions for tablets largely because the iPhone app store proved that consumers will pay for digital content that’s packaged as an app for a mobile device.
Getting consumers to pay for digital content that lives in a web browser, so close to endless free competition from magazines’ own websites and countless others, may prove even harder. Selling meaningful numbers of browser-based digital editions might require magazines to cut back on the print content they make available free on their websites.
We agree that the Web poses a challenge to outlets that want to charge for content (that’s practically a truism), but as mobile devices catch on, publishers with the most versatile subscription presence will probably benefit the most by marketing their product across a wide array of digital platforms.
After the jump, a video demo of the new SI app.