Money & Business

Two in One: AARP Streamlines Publications Into One iPad App

By / Jan 6, 2014 (AARP press image)

The association is now offering a single app where readers can go for magazine features and news, as well as new exclusive digital content.

To make it easier for readers to engage with its content on the iPad, AARP recently announced it is consolidating its mobile publication apps into one—the AARP Publications App.

“Our readers will now have easier access to their favorite AARP publications on the go and can experience them in new, interactive ways,” Myrna Blyth, editorial director for AARP Media, said in a statement. “We are also looking forward to providing a wide variety of digital exclusives developed by our editorial team.”

The new app features content from AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin, a monthly news publication, as well as new exclusive content such as behind-the-scenes celebrity videos, recipes, and photo slideshows. Users can also browse other AARP publications, such as e-books

“There is rich media content that we feel complements our editorial features very well,” said Mike Lee, AARP’s senior advisor, digital strategy. “As an indicator of a desire for more rich media, we have seen a significant number of members using QR codes in our print editions to access video clips on their mobile devices.”
As of August 2013, there were 100,000 downloads of the AARP Magazine app and 60,000 downloads of the AARP Bulletin app, according to Lee. He said the new consolidated version will offer several advantages, including a single sign-on, one interface where new issues of different titles will appear, and a single location to deploy future capabilities, such as notifications and member rewards.

AARP members have free access to publications within the app, and nonmembers can purchase per-issue or annual subscriptions.

Viewpoints differ on the impact of iPad apps on the magazine and publishing industry and their long-term viability as a content channel. According to some reports, tablet versions of magazines make up a only a small proportion—3.3 percent—of total magazine circulation. But the Association of Magazine Media recently reported that U.S. magazines sold 16 percent more tablet advertising units in 2013 than the year before—compared to a 0.1 percent increase for print pages.

Does your association have an app for its publications? How has it fared among users? Let us know in the comments.

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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