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Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Readly on an iPad Pro with Jazz Times

Magazines return as Readly launches locally

The internet may have dented the magazine world some, but it’s still there, and now there’s a Netflix-like subscription service to get your magazine read on whatever you use.

Standing at the checkout and flicking through magazines isn’t something we typically do anymore. You’re probably using your phone if you’re stuck there — if you’re even there at all — and when you go home, you may not even have a magazine on hand at all.

Certainly, the way we consume information has changed, but few websites deliver the same style of feel a magazine feature can accomplish, hence why so many of us love magazines even today.

In fact, there are plenty of people who stil buy and read magazines, even if the numbers have changed over the years. The technology has changed with it, thanks to digital versions reducing the reliance on a stack of paper.

Even though we’re living in a digital world, the price of magazines can still match the physical printed version, depending on what you use and how you buy them.

However much like how music and movies have adopted an all-you-can-use monthly streaming subscription model, publications are beginning to do the same.

Australia has Apple News+ which offers that concept for users of Apple phones, tablets, and computers, and now Australia is getting another in Readly, a subscription model for online magazines from across the world.

Readly on an iPad Pro with BBC Good Food

The concept is fairly simple to understand, because if you have Spotify or Apple Music, or Netflix or Stan, you’re already familiar with the monthly price for an all-you-can-use media subscription, except it applies to music or video, respectively.

Readly brings that concept to magazines, with an international library of titles from all over the world, and apps that access the magazines across phone and tablet, with web access on your browser on the desktop.

The service costs $14.99 per month though offers a 99 cent access for the first month, with not just current titles, but also a library of back issues, as well, and from across numerous categories.

Testing Readly, we found numerous cooking magazines, science and technology, photography, lifestyle, and plenty of others, with a whole bunch seemingly there for weddings (and weddings in the UK, no less), and all basically work like a regular magazine, where you flip the pages using your fingers, or are marginally more savvy and use preview thumbnails that you can use to get your way around the magazine more quickly.

Publications with cover discs still typically offer their wares, too, thanks to the power of the internet, though you may be asked a question or two when you’re grabbing files.

The sheer number of English wedding mags on Readly on the iPad Pro
That’s a lot of English wedding mags.

One thing you won’t typically see is any of that snazzy modern magazine interaction, such as new ways to browse or experience the magazine, including videos, interactive elements, animations, or scrolling up and down the page.

You can see some of that in a handful of Apple News+ publications, and there are other magazine platforms that have seen these enhancements over time, but none of this appears part of Readly’s offering. While you can zoom in to see more detail, Readly renders magazines just the way they’d be if they were printed, except digital.

For many people, that won’t be an issue, but for folks looking for a little more interactivity, it means Readly may not be the platform for you. It does offer a wide selection of magazines, though, and in a world where diversity and choice are a major factor, that could be a decision maker for some customers. Locally, that selection includes Women’s Weekly, Elle, Frankie, and National Geographic Kids, Art Almanac, and others, with plenty of international titles, too.

“We not only aim to reach the avid magazine readers in Australia, but also connect readers from all over our 50 markets with Australian magazine content,” said Maria Hendengren, CEO of Readly.

Locally, the service is up and running, with support for up to five profiles and five devices.

Readly on an iPad Pro with Electronic Sound

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