"Readbug is the Netflix for magazines".
The magazine industry is broken. We want to fix it. For magazines, stepping into the digital age has been difficult.
Today's readers want accessibility, immediacy and convenience, print publishing has struggled to deliver against new and emerging digital platforms. The problem isn’t the content, it’s the delivery method.
Readbug brings together the world's top publishers, digitally optimising their content for a global, mobile-first audience. We help expand the reach of our titles, whilst providing a trusted source of quality content for our members.
Our members can read the absolute best in fashion, music, film, travel and lifestyle from the likes of Paper, Dazed, Huck, Little White Lies, Sidetracked and many more.
Users can flick from cover-to-cover, select their favourite titles, scroll through their personalised article stream, share stories and read the best magazines wherever they want, however you want for a monthly subscription.
The subscription model offers a value proposition. It is proven that users are attracted to this model and greater revenues can be achieved through a larger user base.
By removing the per issue pay wall barrier our members have the freedom to read as much or as little as they like. At the point of engagement it feels free whilst still generating more attractive revenues for our publishers.
In return we believe this will drive user growth and unlock the true potential of the premium content.
• Product - provide an exceptional user experience that is market leading.
• Content - curate premium and unique content from the World’s best content creators.
• Audience - deliver quality content to a global audience - think Spotify (75m users) and Netflix (70m subscribers).
Substantial accomplishments to date
- Development and launch of the Readbug app
(available in the Apple App Store, please download and try it for yourselves).
- Global content agreements with 60 publishers and growing.
- Hit number 66 in the US App Store News rankings.
- Relationships with commercial partners - The Hospital Club, 5 select universities.
Readbug is £5.99 per month for consumer access to our library of magazines.
With the release of Readbug version 2.0 we have also introduced a FREE point of entry to the app called "Discover", so that users can read and share curated daily picks and theme based channels completely for free. We believe this will help drive downloads, engagement and adoption of the Readbug service.
During our development launch we have identified 8 additional revenue flows to our existing B2C standard subscription:
1. Standard Subscription.
2. Archive Content Tier.
3. Readbug Platinum (standard sub + print issue).
4. Buy it now (individual print issue sales).
5. B2B Subscriptions and licenses.
6. Website Bolt-On Service.
8. White Labelled App.
9. Data Sales.
With this investment capital, over Q1 and Q2 this year we will continue to develop revenue flows 2 through to 7.
Use of proceeds
Readbug intends to use the proceeds of this round over the coming 6 months to develop our additional revenue flows. This includes the development and release of the browser version of Readbug, scheduled for launch Q1 2016, that will enable us to sell into Universities and businesses without being limited to Apple only products.
Moving ahead with B2B and B2C, we are currently in discussion with several parties with a view to raise £1m+ in Q3 2016, which may be brought forward to Q2 as our B2B program progresses.
Our target audience falls into four core personas:
The Mag Reader - Our target audience know at least one title on board (the hook) and subsequently their curiosity drives them to discover new titles. We have found they subscribe to Readbug to complement their existing print service to read quality content on the go. Think vinyl collector listening to Spotify whilst out and about.
The Passionista - fans and followers of a specific vertical, like fashion or cycling. They live their passion and Readbug offers a one stop shop for all the best journalism for their interests.
The Connoisseur - People who enjoy quality content (they subscribe to other premium services too) and are turned off by the noise of the internet. Readbug offers a trusted source of quality curated content and interesting reading.
The Scholar - Institutions and industry leaders who use Readbug as an archive of quality journalism for proactive inspiration and historical interest.
• Aged 24 - 47.
• Subscribe to Spotify / Netflix.
• Degree educated.
• Works in a creative / ideas based industry.
• Reading is part of their daily routine.
• Look to further their knowledge and or keep track of current affairs.
• They live their passion and reading is part of the professional / personal learning.
Characteristics of target market
The consumer magazine market is worth £2.8bn per annum in the UK and £50.2bn worldwide.
In 2012, digital revenue accounted for just 6% of total magazine revenue but will reach 16% by 2017.
89% of consumer media time is now spent in mobile apps and there are currently 2.6 billion active smartphones globally.
Subscription services from Spotify and Netflix total 130 million users but there is a clear gap in the market for magazines.
We believe Readbug is the first mobile focused subscription platform for magazines producing premium quality content.
Our strategy will focus on 4 key areas:
• Content marketing & Social Media - leveraging our content to drive user growth.
• Viral growth through PR and blogger outreach and App Store positioning.
• Paid marketing - advertising channels and paid PR.
• Commercial partnerships and co-marketing activities with our publishers.
During our development launch stage these channels have delivered the most promising results and we will continue to tactically explore new channels and further refine existing channels to drive down CPA.
Having conducted extensive global competition and SWOT analysis we have set out a clear strategy against competitors:
Our core competition in the magazine space are Readly and Magzter. We have found that these platforms aggregate thousands of magazines across many regions and languages and present them to the user as digital PDF renditions, delivering a “pinch and zoom” reading experience.
As a platform, Readbug is uniquely placed in that we combine the value proposition of the “all you can eat“ subscription model (similar to Netflix and Spotify), whilst delivering fully optimised premium digital content that can be consumed on any device.
Where our competitors have gone as far as recommending magazines of interests, Readbug has developed to our knowledge the industry's first Article stream, enabling our member to discover the most relevant content to them at an article level.
Where our competition focus on volume, we focus on quality. Our magazines are selected by hand, ensuring we are a trusted source to our members for quality content, a stance that has led to publishers choosing to approach us over our competitors.
Readbug has the global distribution rights to all of our magazines, many of which we are the sole digital version of, giving us a unique position in terms of our content.
As we create the digital editions of our magazines for our publishers, we plan to leverage digital platforms like Apple News, Flipboard and Facebook Instant Article as additional distribution channels for our content marketing. We intend to use these platforms to drive growth.
To maintain our competitive advantage we have a proven track record of strong publisher relationships and a community of active members all of whom feedback regularly about our service. We harness this insight to innovate our product in a customer led strategy and is a core capability of the business.