Pioneering App Mag, The Magazine, Is Shutting Down In December

The Magazine, an app magazine founded by Marco Arment, is shutting down in December. The magazine, which carried tech stories from prominent authors, is now owned by writer Glenn Fleishman who explained that the title, while profitable from day one, just wasn’t picking up subscribers fast enough to remain viable.

Fleishman wrote:

The sad truth has been that, while profitable from week one, the publication has had a declining subscription base since February 2013. It started at such a high level that we could handle a decline for a long time, but despite every effort — including our first-year anthology crowdfunded a bit under a year ago — we couldn’t replace departing subscribers with new ones fast enough.

Arment, who designed and created the framework on which the magazine ran, said: “I thought making a high-quality app was the hard part that was keeping iPad magazines from being more successful, but the app turned out to be the easiest and least important part of the business.”

The app now runs on TypeEngine.

The Magazine was an interesting mix of the Economist, Wired, and McSweeney’s. I subscribed to it for a while when it launched and then bought individual issues. It’s important to note that the magazine was profitable – an amazing feat in this news market – and brought in some excellent writers. It just couldn’t maintain a subscriber rate, which also plagued titles like News Corps’ The Daily. It’s a shame.

Fleishman is crowdfunding a book containing the second year of Magazine content and is looking to close shop on December 17 and pro-rate and refund all subscriptions. It will be interesting to see if news of its closing spurs more subscriptions.