Frustrated with the tools currently on the market for publishing magazines for the iPad, Dutch company Prss has today revealed its solution – a powerful, browser-based, low-cost, collaborative tool for anyone who wants to put their own magazine on Apple’s Newsstand.
Back in December 2010, we ran a piece about a new iPad magazine called TRVL. At a time when News Corp’s The Daily and Virgin’s Project were getting people excited about the potential of tablet magazines. Our article was called “Forget Murdoch and Branson, could TRVL’s gorgeous iPad magazine transform publishing?” Now that The Daily has closed and Project has disappeared off the radar, that question remains relevant, as PRSS comes from the same team as TRVL.
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Prss, launching today at The Next Web Conference USA, is a Web app that allows users to create beautiful magazines via a drag-and-drop interface and then publish them to Newsstand. Up to 30 people can collaborate on any magazine in a similar fashion to a Google Doc, and users can create as many magazines as they like. Prss (pronounced ‘press’) is free to use, with the startup charging a very competitive 5 US cents per magazine download.
Once your magazine is tweaked to your satisfaction, it can be uploaded to your native iOS Prss magazine app, which you can brand and customize as you like. Unlike many other magazine creation solutions for the iPad, it’s easy and quick to push updates to your publications (for example, if you spot a typo). This is because rather than generating large image files for each magazine, PRSS builds pages dynamically, in a similar way to how Web pages are constructed of separate element and assembled on the fly.
This means that magazines are updated for readers automatically without them even noticing. It also means that the downloads are an order of magnitude smaller than iPad magazine readers will generally be used to.
Utrecht-based Prss is a team of 20 people, funded by Dutch private investors. The appeal of a lightweight, low-cost publishing tool built by magazine creators for magazine creators is clearly strong. The company says that it has seen interest from small and large media companies alike, and has a waiting list of 7,000 potential publishers.
The launch of Prss comes on the same day as that of Lucidpress, which is a browser-based desktop publishing with a broader set of use cases compared to Prss’ laser-focus on the iPad magazine publishing field. That said, the company plans to expand to support iPhone and Android magazines in the future.
If you want to see a Prss-powered magazine, you can subscribe to TRVL. Meanwhile if you’re keen to try the tools out yourself, you can join the waiting list. The tool will be rolled out to increasing numbers of users over the coming months.
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