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How Reflowed Content is Revitalizing Mobile Magazine Publishing

February 27, 2020
black samsung tablet displaying google browser on screen

Google Says Goodbye to Print Replicas

Google shut down access to the print replica magazines on its Google News app last month and while the company provided no explanation, the internet is full of theories.

The Exit of Print Replicas

Given the launch of other mobile magazine platforms like Apple News Plus, we are willing to bet the issue is not that readers do not like to read magazines on phones. The likely culprit for Google’s removal of their print replicas is an issue with readability and accessibility. The magazines formerly available on the Google News app precisely mirrored their print counterparts via PDF-like images (hence, the term print replica). Static reproductions of a print magazine require all sorts of finger finagling, zooming and pinching, holding and waiting, all in an effort to render content meant for an 8.5 by 11-inch magazine page readable on a 6 by 3-inch smartphone screen. 

It is not mobile platforms that readers object to. It is static mobile platforms. Readers respond to mobile content that is, well, mobile. eMagazines specializes in content that seamlessly integrates print aesthetic with mobile design flow. Our team not only understands mobile content, it celebrates it. 

Looking Forward With Reflowed Content 

At eMagazines, we opt for reflowed content instead of print replica PDFs. This means we take your magazine content and modify it for maximum engagement on a mobile platform. Reflowed content lets your branding pop and your content shine in a forum that is both accessible and engaging.

line graph showing about six-in-ten Americans often get news on a mobile device versus desktop

As of 2019, the Pew Research Center shows that 57 percent of Americans now get their news from their smartphones. That number has almost tripled since 2013 and there is no reason to expect that trend to switch directions. Mobile readership is vital to any publisher’s audience engagement and we look forward to unlocking its potential for you. 

eMagazines will bring your print content to a world of user-tailored experiences that break down the constraints of print replicas.

Lyons, K. (2020, January 3). Google News discontinues ‘print replica’ PDFs of magazines. The Verge. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/3/21048297/google-news-print-replica-magazine-pdf-discontinued

Toombs, C. (2020, January 3). Google News is killing off digital magazines, refunds all active subscriptions. Retrieved February 19, 2020, from https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/01/03/google-news-killing-digital-magazines-refunds-subscriptions/

Walker, M. (2019). Americans favor mobile devices over desktops and laptops for getting news. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/11/19/americans-favor-mobile-devices-over-desktops-and-laptops-for-getting-news/