How TRVL became the most successful magazine on the iPad

Written by Stefano on Nov 13 2011 - Last modified on Aug 02 2012

We are fol­low­ing TRVL pub­lish­ing since the begin­ning and it is extra­or­di­nary how the guys behind the mag­a­zine have been con­sis­tent about their pub­lish­ing model and seri­ous about content.

TRVL is a free mag­a­zine about travel, with each issue becom­ing a pho­tog­ra­phy rich monog­ra­phy focus­ing on a loca­tion. Issues are com­pletely free for users as well as the App itself, excep­tion made for the spe­cial issue about Afghanistan by pho­tog­ra­pher Ton Koene which is priced at 1.99$. They are now offer­ing a monthly sub­scrip­tion for 0.99$ which is basi­cally a workaround to enable News­stand com­pat­i­bil­ity. The fea­ture is indeed avail­able to pub­lish­ers to sell sub­scrip­tion for a price. In any case TRVL edi­tors will donate the rev­enue com­ing from sub­scrip­tions, keep­ing up the free mag­a­zine model.

↳ TRVL iPad Mag­a­zine issue picker

Michel Elings and Jochem Wij­nands are the guys behind the project of cre­at­ing a free dig­i­tal mag­a­zine focused on travel and pho­tog­ra­phy. They still are doing things with the pas­sion of build­ing some­thing spe­cial with no money behind. Michel is aware that they have much to learn, and prob­a­bly the best way learn as much as pos­si­ble is to be on the mar­ket with a huge amount of fol­low­ers, gath­er­ing their feed­back and com­ments to under­stand more the do and the don’t.

Even if the tech­nol­ogy behind the TRVL mag­a­zine is one of the many Inde­sign based pub­lish­ing sys­tems, the mag­a­zine is always enriched with pan­ning pho­tog­ra­phy, maps with photo geolo­ca­tion, html wid­gets to dis­play streams of live data and other cool enhancements.

The pub­lish­ing world is still strug­gling to under­stand the rev­enue model in the new dig­i­tal dis­tri­b­u­tion world, and TRVL is one exam­ple to look at. They have no busi­ness model for rev­enue at this moment, they pub­lish­ing no adver­tise­ment and issues are always free. Maybe pop­u­lar­ity is the new cur­rency in this dig­i­tal age, like many suc­cess cases demon­strated in the past few days, where the mix of qual­ity con­tent, fea­tures and con­sis­tency grabbed user atten­tion and made them fans.



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