Mobile Experiment: What Have We Learnt in Past 48 Hours (plus: Offer Faq)

Two days ago we launched a simple experiment, which was supposed to verify a certain hypothesis and to help us simplify the way we settle accounts with the publishers. The response of magazine publishers made us (delicately speaking) frightened: we received hundreds of mails with requests to be included in the experiment, and one of the publishers even threatened us a little!

Just to remind you: we made a proposal to magazine publishers to make a free iPad and iPhone application for them, in exchange we would keep the first 199 USD that the application earns each month. From USD 200 above the income is transferred to the publishers without any interests charged by us.

Update: since I wrote this post we introduced Android support as well. This will increase earnings cap to $299 if you order two platforms at one. If you choose to go with only iOS or only Android, the cap remains $199 per platform.

We are extremely grateful for the support you show towards us. At the same time, we are aware that this means a great responsibility on our part. In the next few days we have a lot of work to do concerning the basics of our business in order for us to know whether the model we proposed in the experiment should not be our key one.

We decided to include in the experiment all publishers who applied and will apply in the next few days. This way, we are going to increase the sample group on which we verify the hypotheses and nobody will be omitted.

Today and tomorrow two things will happen:

  1. Every Publisher who replied to our offer will get the information concerning the next steps to be taken.
  2. In order to simplify a little the procedure of applying, please register in Press Pad, using this special link http://katalog.presspadapp.com/register?type=experiment
    Thanks to that link you will be able to create an account, enter your issues into the panel and easily order the application for your magazine. And we will know that you are in the “experiment” and we will not require any payment for adding the application.


Below we compiled the answers for most frequently asked questions. If you have any other queries, please write at: sales@presspadapp.com. We will answer all of them.

You can also follow us/ask questions at Twitter @presspadapp or at Facebook: http://facebook.com/presspad

Frequently Asked Questions

If a magazine is free of charge, does it qualify for this offer?
The proposed model works only in case of paid issues/subscriptions of a magazine. If you are willing to introduce a fee for your magazine on mobile devices, we are able to include your magazine in our offer. Providing extra or full version content via a mobile application could be a good solution.

Do I need to commit at any point?
No. Neither in case of our standard subscription plans, nor the experimental one do we use long-term agreements. Since we introduced this offer we will ask you for 12-month non-exclusive contract. This only means that once you publish an app with us, we will keep it on the App Store for at least 12 months and we will kindly ask you to publish new issues when they are released.

What if I want to resign from PressPad?
Should you decide to stop using PressPad, your application will be removed from App Store. However, your PressPad account will not be closed in order to:

  1. Continue with the support for the readers who have already downloaded your application from App Store and have it installed on their devices.
  2. Provide you with the access to your archive sales reports.

We do not charge any fees for such accounts and you may always reopen them.

Do I receive sales reports?
Detailed reports on every previous month are displayed in your panel on the 10th of each month. There is also a live estimate number of all downloads available in the panel all month long.

Does PressPad offer subscriptions?
Yes. The readers may purchase single issues or 1, 2, 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions (you need to select at least one option).

Once I get a subscription, may I receive current and future issues exclusively (for six months or a year) without an access to archive issues at the same time?
Unfortunately, not. Apple does not allow for such solution.

Would my app be available on Apple’s Newsstand, or just in the App Store?
We do add applications to Apple Newsstand, it is a default option. It is possible to choose a standard application however, in this case you miss several bonuses connected with Newsstand technology: subscriptions, background downloading, pushing new issues onto readers’ devices, etc. Newsstand is a default choice of most readers and publishers.

If I make less than $199, do you just keep it as fee? So I could make nothing, and not get charged at all?
That’s right. It’s us who take the risk in the case of your magazine making less than $199 a month. That’s why our goal was, among other things, to educate publishers on how to increase sales on mobile devices, so that both sides are satisfied (read our blog!).

Is this planned for other platforms, as well?
We currently make applications for the Apple iPad/iPhone. Support for Android is planned for launch in about six weeks. We will most likely enable Android support without fees within the same model. We will have a more concrete answer closer to the launch. We launched Android and included it in this model as well!

Is this an international offer?
Yes, it is. We aren’t planning on adding any location-based restrictions.

Who is doing all the uploading – you or me?
Each publisher needs to register a PressPad account and upload their magazine issues in PDF format themselves. The panel is very simple to use, and the work requires no more than 2-3 minutes per month (Note: use this link to register, so that we know you’re taking part in this experimental offer).

Do you take PDF files?
Yes, PDF is the format we use within the applications.

How do I get paid? Via electronic transfer or PayPal? When are the monthly payments made?
We use PayPal for payments. We process payments during the week after the 10th of each month (when the sales report is generated). If the 10th falls on the weekend, we start sending the publishers their money on the following Monday.

Is there a free trial period available?
No trial period is available for this offer. However, as mentioned before, there are also no long-term contracts or cancellation fees. To get your iPad app, register a PressPad account via this link, upload your magazine issues in PDF format, order the application and wait for us to contact you.

Can I have a look at any sample applications published by PressPad?
Of course. Search for “presspad” in the App Store, and most of our apps will appear.

Upon placing the order, we contact each publisher individually if anything requires clarification. If you have any questions, please contact us at sales@presspadapp.com. We will answer any question.

The following entries from our blog could prove useful:

 

by Paul Nowak

CEO of PressPad