If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where and when you can pick up the latest copy of Garden & Gun, well, now there’s an app for that.
The Magazine Information Network, also known as MagNet, announced the launch of MagFinder, an app that detects a user’s location before sending her a list of retailers carrying the magazine she’s looking for. Monitoring which magazines are available at retail locations in the United States and Canada, the service updates its lists on a daily basis. It also offers price information, an ability to get notifications when new issues are available and a recommendation engine that suggests new titles.
Viewed from a certain angle, the launch of MagFinder could be seen as another deeply worrying sign for the magazine industry. While publishers have managed to rely on verified subscriptions to keep subscription totals from falling off a cliff, they've been forced to contend with declining newsstand sales, a problem that has only worsened since Source Interlink, the largest magazine distributor in North America, went belly-up last year.
“Unfortunately, we see nothing on the horizon that provides hope that newsstand sales will have a significant turnaround in the foreseeable future,” the organization said in a statement released last week. “The continued rise in social media and mobile technology use is influencing how consumers view and absorb content.”
Rising Internet use, which is eating away at all kinds of media consumption, has also cut into the impulse purchases that used to round out industry sales every quarter.
Before you arch your eyebrows too high, consider that apps designed to help consumers find goods and services they like so they can purchase them are relatively common. There are apps designed to help people find certain kinds of beer, or specific burgers, or massages, or even vets. MagFinder is available on desktops and iPhones.