The beginning …

Just over 2 years ago we started a project to transition #5 Magazine from their legacy flash based digital magazine to a brand new cross-platform application designed to harness both the power of native applications and emerging open web standards such as HTML5. When every other company was fixated with the iPad we were tackling the not insignificant challenge of bringing the immersive and interactive experience of tablet applications to the web. After 6 weeks of little sleep we launched and the results were beyond anything we could have dreamed for. Shortly after Rio Ferdinand tweeted to his then 2 million twitter followers it was trending and during it’s first day in the App Store #5 Magazine was catapulted to the #1 spot in the Lifestyle category. The next day our phones and email inboxes were flooded with people who wanted a ‘#5’. When I look back today I am humbled by what our team has achieved.

  • We were the first company to launch a fully featured, interactive HTML based web reader application serving exactly the same content as the native iOS version and have the set the standard for cross-platform accessibility of digital publications.
  • Our applications have been downloaded over 1 million times from the UK to the US to China.
  • #5 Magazine was selected in the Top Newsstand Apps in Apple’s prestigious App Store Rewind 2011.
  • Most importantly our customers. Many household name brands such as Superdrug, Honda, Co-Operative Food, Boots (to name just a few!) rely on our platform as an integral part of their digital content marketing strategies. The roll call of organisations who use our platform is unrivaled and is down to one thing: the quality and dedication of the team. Nothing is ever too much and every day I see people challenging themselves and our technology to deliver truly cutting edge solutions for our customers.
So what is

When we embarked on the #5 Magazine project we never envisioned the demand for our product we have seen. Since launching have been working hard on delivering for our clients and continuing to develop and expand our technology. Incredibly all of the great customers we work with found us through word of mouth – which goes to show the strength and quality of the work we have produced. Over time the digital publishing platform has become our number one priority and we are continuing to invest heavily in this product area. We work with some amazing customers but we thought it was about time we told the rest of the world about our platform and what it can do for their business. So we went about the task of creating a stand alone brand for the platform – something that does what it says on the tin. The thinking behind was:

  • Our platform is about more than just magazines – it’s about delivering branded content. Most providers have focused on selling paid for consumer magazines but the flexibility of our platform means that we have published not only consumer magazines but also press releases, interactive infographics, corporate newsletters and internal reports. Our customers always seem to be able to come up with new ways of using out platform so the .it seemed to convey our focus on content rather than a specific form e.g. magazine!
  • We don’t want to just translate a print experience in a digital environment – our platform is about harnessing the power that today’s digital technologies offer. That means rich multimedia, animations, dynamic content and much more.
  • Our mission is to transform the way longer form content is created, consumed and shared. We want our customers to look at their content and think lets!
The future …

Whilst I have allowed myself a moment to reflect I know that this is just the beginning. In our minds we are at digital publishing 1.0 and we have big plans to kick off another spur of innovation. First and foremost we want to bring the power and flexibility of our platform to a much wider audience through the development of self service software that will allow our customers to create and update their content in real time. We also want to take advantage of the huge amount of data and insights we have about the way readers interact with content on our platform – through this information brands and publishers will be able to offer more relevant content to their audiences. And we want to create digital publishing 2.0 – a step change in how content is consumed and shared. People don’t like to be sold to – they want a conversation with brands. We want to enable that conversation to happen through a dynamic, immersive, 2-way social reading experience. There is a lot to do – we know that. But at we are thinking big. We don’t want small, incremental change, we want step changes and that is our mission. We are investing heavily by building a great team who are already working on turning our visions into reality. All that leaves me to do is to say thank-you. Thank-you to our customers for being on this journey with us, for helping us to constantly improve the way we do things. If you’re not a customer yet then I invite you to talk to us about how we can help you achieve your content publishing objectives. We want to hear your challenges and your ideas. In return I can promise a dedicated team who will listen and work as hard as they can to deliver for you and your organisation.