Disney FamilyFun (magazine) for iPad: First 2 e-Issues Free

The iPad has been print magazine publishers’ greatest hope and, so far, probably its greatest disappoinment. Magazines for the iPad have been mostly replica’s of the print edition with sometimes confusing navigation and prices that are higher than the paper version (this changed recently when Apple provided a mechanism for magazine subscriptions). Prices of iPad magazines have probably been the biggest problem in customer relations. The high profile launch of The Daily for iPad was an interesting one that appears to have learned from the earlier publication launches. The Daily is something in between a daily newspaper and a traditional magazine. It publishes once a day but has the look of a magazine. Its publisher wisely provided it free of charge for several weeks to give potential customers an easy way to try it out. It is also priced very reasonably at 99 cents per week or $39.99 per year.

The latest iPad magazine comes from media powerhouse Disney.

Disney FamilyFun (iTunes App Store)

The first two electronic issues (March and April) are free. Subsequent monthly issues will be available through an in-app purchase. Neither the product site nor the announcement email I received provides a price for these in-app issue purchases. However, based on the heavy advertising in the magazine, I will guess the per issue price will be reasonable. My “eyeball” estimate is that about half of the magazine consists of advertisements. Many of these advertisements are full page ones.

The content (sandwiched in between mountains of advertisements) is excellent. The photography is great and the articles are easy to read and understand (lots of how-to instructional material). While there are a few videos embedded in the magazine, FamilyFun is essentially a replica of the print edition. I had hoped to see a more creative use of the iPad’s touch interface and more interactive content. That said, its target audience seems very pleased with it so far. Although there only 16 customer ratings for it so far, 13 of those customers gave it a 5-star rating (out of a possible 5).