iBeacon Magazines: Content that Unlocks at Your Local Bar

Exact Editions Turns Its Magazines Into iBeacon Readers
Exact Editions Turns Its Magazines Into iBeacon Readers

Exact Editions has launched ByPlace(TM) a service for publishers that lets them deliver content through Apple’s Newstand based on iBeacon proximity technology.

Bluetooth LE, which powers small ‘beacons’ (such as Estimote) that can be popped onto a shop wall or counter, sends a small packet of data to a user’s phone or iPad. Once the connection is made, your phone knows that you’re close to a beacon and lets it ‘unlock’ content based on place.

Magazines That Unlock When You Get…Well, Somewhere

According to the company’s press release, the premise is simple: publishers get an extra revenue stream because they can attach content to a specific location, and retailers, coffee shops or bars benefit because they’re delivering one-of-a-kind content experiences:

Allowing publishers to sell magazine access to specific locations and venues. From coffee shop to concert hall, Starbucks to stadiums, any venue is now a promotional tool, or a customer for a publisher. This unique promotional and sales tool allows the publisher of the magazine to sell subscriptions two-fold, once to a venue offering the magazine, and once to the end user once they leave the iBeacon zone. With ByPlace™, Exact Editions have revolutionised the way that magazines can promote and sell their digital products.

A Future Where Content is King (and Paid For)

The idea echoes a premise I have: that by connecting content to place or proximity, we might actually be able to return to a day when content isn’t expected to be free, because the economics of tying it closer to a transaction make it viable again to pay the folks who write or photograph or make videos.

ByPlace isn’t just a clever example of magazine content taken to specific locations – it’s an example of what I think might be an entirely new era in which we’re able to value content again as something other than a wrapper around banner advertising or copy/left sharing.

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