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MacDaddy News: Startup pushes Newsstand publication samples to iOS devices through Apple’s iBeacons

Startup pushes Newsstand pub=
lication samples to iOS devices through Apple’s iBeacons

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By Neil Hughes

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Publishers can now promote their magazine app=
s for iOS by making them available to view for free at specific locations, t=
hanks to a new use for Apple’s wireless iBeacon technology created by a digi=
tal publishing startup company.

Using iBeacons, publishers c=
an give readers the same ability to browse a magazine that they would at a r=
eal, live newsstand. The concept of magazine promotion by iBeacons was =
created b=
y Exact Editions, which is calling its service for publishers “ByPl=
ace.”

With ByPlace, an iBeacon can serve as an “unlocking device” for=
appropriate applications to connected iOS devices in the vicinity. Using a t=
iny, battery-powered iBeacon accessory, a publisher could offer free content=
access to users located within 15 meters.

According to Exact Edition=
s, publishers and developers can attach several applications to a specific B=
yPlace iBeacon, and that accessible content can be altered remotely when nee=
ded.

Exact Editions sees the use of its ByPlace transmitter specifica=
lly appealing to publishers, as they will be able to use it to sell magazine=
subscriptions to users. In particular, publishers will more easily be able t=
o reach niche audiences when an iBeacon is placed at a corresponding venue.
In examples provided by the startup, an iBeacon for a film magazine c=
ould be shared in a movie theater, fashion magazines could be browse-able at=
an art venue, and business magazines could be available in an airline loung=
e. Exact Editions also suggested that “discreet but noticeable in-app brandi=
ng” for the venue hosting the iBeacon could be included, stating sponsorship=
of the free app preview.

Finally, venues that host apps would be abl=
e to see which magazines generate the most business, allowing them to choose=
similar offerings in the future, and potentially turning visitors into repe=
at customers who may come back for additional free access in the future.
=

The ByPlace iBeacon technology has already been tested at a number of lo=
cations across the globe, with Opera Magazi=
ne being offered by The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, The Catholic Herald at Westminster C=
athedral in the Vatican, Music Week av=
ailable to sample for Abbey Road visitors, and both When Saturday Comes and Daz=
ed & Confused available at U.K. pub Bar Kick.

“iBeacons h=
ave tremendous potential for publishers,” said Daryl Rayner, managin directo=
r of Exact Editions. “They offer a discrete, low cost way for publishers to d=
o something they’ve never before been able to, market their product digitall=
y based on location. At Exact Editions we are delighted to once again be at t=
he forefront of innovation with Newsstand apps.”

iBeaco=
ns are a new feature Apple introduced with iOS 7, using Bluetooth Low Energy=
-based technology to allow location-specific features when within range of a=
n iOS device. So far, retailer Macy’s has launched a trial program in New York and S=
an Francisco that track shoppers’ movements throughout stores and serve up d=
ifferent offers based on the floor or department the customer is in.

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Major League Baseball has also announced plans to use iBeacons to enhance fans’ experience at l=
eague ballparks, delivering targeted information and offers based on a fan’s=
location within that park. MLB demonstrated the new technology at the New Y=
ork Mets’ Citi Field, showing how fans approaching the gate will have their t=
icket barcode automatically displayed, while those visiting concession stand=
s may be given a virtual “point card.”=