Engadget decides to kill Distro tablet magazine app

by David Needle

September 6 2013

Tech enthusiast site Engadget announced today that it will stop publishing its weekly Distro tablet magazine app as of Friday, September 27.

Distro was one of the early online-only publications to add a companion iPad magazine app when it launched in October, 2011 (followed a few weeks later by an Android version). 

No explanation was given for the closure. Probably the highest profile magazine app flop to date has been News Corp's The Daily which wasn't able to justify the huge investment in staff and design the publishing giant made in the iPad app.

In a note to readers Engadget implied that content similar to what it offered in the app would continue to be available at Engadget.com. 

"Distro has served as a jumping-off point for award-winning design, in-depth analysis and a focus on long-form storytelling, and we plan to bring everything we've learned to Engadget at large.

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  • PatrickPierra
    1 year 2 months ago
    Distro was an excellent tablet magazine and it seems to have developed a strong readership. However, it has not caught the attention of advertisers. So, that product ended up using resources, maybe drawing some usage from the site, without generating any serious revenues. In the meantime, The Verge entered the tech news space and showed that long form journalism could be delivered elegantly in a pure web format, with the advantage of being easier to share and easier to monetize (same ads, same ad management platform). While AOL goes on publishing the Huffington tablet magazine on the same model as Distro, this is not encouraging for the future of "tablet-specific, issue delivered" magazines. The other experiments to watch in that space are The Atlantic weekly and Esquire Weekly. Maybe tech advertisers were particularly not interested in the tablet magazine format while fashion, car and finance high-end advertisers may see that format differently.

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