Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, is probably public enemy number one in the publishing industry, and he’s at it again. Today he is introducing The Magazine, an iOS app and fortnightly1 publication. Four articles every two weeks, $1.99 a month.
I’m downloading the app and will spend some time with it tonight, but perhaps the most interesting bit is Marco’s approach to acquiring great content. From the foreword of Issue 1:
…The Magazine operates under liberal author terms: authors retain ownership of their writing, and they may republish it on their own sites just one month after it appears here.
This is basically a pay wall wrapped in an app, and it may well work. I wonder, though, whether this boon to authors might not be detrimental to the outlet itself. The Magazine covers “meaningful editorial and big-picture articles.” That’s the stuff we can all wait a month to read.
But Marco views this as an experiment, and is putting his chips on the table:
If it doesn’t turn a profit within two months — just four issues — I’ll shut it down.
I bet it turns a profit this week.
I don’t think I can begin to explain the kind of pleasure it brings me to work that one into conversation, or wherefore it does. ↩︎