Last week, at the publishing summit of the Munich Media days, the German managing director of Spotify Stefan Zilch was asked how something like the Spotify music app, which offers unlimited music access to users for €9.99 ($12.68) a month, could be adapted for the print industry.
Mr. Zilch was not really sure how his business model could be adapted. One person who does know is Per Hellberg, the CEO of Readly. Like Spotify, Readly comes from Sweden, and, instead of music, the app gives readers access to magazine content, also for a flatrate of €9.99 a month.
Readly was founded at the end of 2012 by the Swedish internet entrepreneur Joel Wikell. It officially launched in Sweden in March 2013, and expanded to Great Britain and the U.S a year later.
In Sweden, the U.S. and Great Britain, the three markets where the company already has a presence, there are 8,487 issues from 678 different magazines available. At the beginning of October, Hamburg’s Bauer Media Group announced it would be Readly’s “first global cooperation-partner.”
Readly launched yesterday in Germany. As well as the Bauer Media titles, it contains the publications of the Funke-Media Group, the International Data Group (IDG), and the German edition of “Vice” magazine. Big magazine publishing houses such as Burda and Gruner+Jahr are conspicuously absent from the line-up, but Mr. Hellberg is satisfied. “We have 20 percent of the German magazines that are appropriate for us in the program,” he said.
The magazine offer will keep growing. For the first three to four months, during the soft-launch phase, Readly plans to be quite reserved with its marketing spend, as it was in the U.S at the beginning.