The Creator of Asia's First Magazine App Decided to Host 10,500 Other Magazines. It is now World's #1 Magazines & Newspapers App
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Magzter, one of the world's largest cross-platform digital magazine newsstands with over 10,500 titles in its catalog, wasn’t designed to spread across the world.
The New York-based company Magzter was built by Girish Ramdas and Vijayakumar Radhakrishnan 8 years ago when nobody thought of building up such an app. Magzter today is a cross-platform, self-service, global digital magazine newsstand with over 8,000 magazines from 3,400+ publishers.
As the medium of printed content is facing near extinction across the globe, Ramdas & Radhakrishnan are determined to mitigate the threat looming over print media with the help of digital, which they feel will steer the existence of print.
The iOS app of Magzter has been consistently ranked among the top 10 apps on the App Store in the world. Magzter reached the #1 spot this December among 'Magazines & Newspapers' apps in the USA App Store ahead of top news and magazine brands like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and USA Today according to reports.
In an interview to Entrepreneur India, Girish Ramdas Founder & CEO of Magzter spoke about what got him to build this unique app.
“It happened like an evolution. We had a software company that had an application development team, and we ran a magazine in print for South India Cinema, so we decided to make an app for ourselves. We made the first magazine app for Asia for our own cinema magazine and within a year we had 100,000 downloads,” Ramdas tells Entrepreneur India.
This was in 2009 – one small magazine had so many downloads and the founders wondered why couldn’t they make for others. So they started a service business for another magazine and then for a newspaper. It made them realize they needed to build a product instead of a service.
“We had the expertise, the app team and we ran a magazine. So we went ahead and created a platform where magazines from all around could be found at one place,” Ramdas tells.
In its existence since 2011, Magzter has been soaring profitability.
According to Ramdas, Magzter there’s a big market for Magzter. “1.6 billion people are still reading print so if we take 1 per cent of this number there are millions more waiting for read us,” says Ramdas.
West Vs East
Ramdas says the magazine business is coming under threat is an overhyped sentiment when it comes to East.
“In the West, magazines are really under threat because of high cost of production, high cost of delivery, whereas in South East Asia and in India the scenario is different. Digital is still at a small scale. Today, there’s a need of real news and editorial content, branded content will remain there with the difference of format,” believes Ramdas.
For him, getting investment is all about whoever is investing, depending upon the round of investment, if you are at an early stage then it’s all about the passion, and the investor doesn’t know anything about the business; they only know what is being explained to them.