Bonnier Gives Away Its New iPad Magazine Builder

The latest new vendor hoping to power publishers’ tablet magazines has one of the slickest systems so far.

As we revealed last month, Bonnier has spun out its Mag+ concept, which is used by Popular Science‘s iPad edition, for commercialisation by a separate business, Moving Media+.

From today, that business is offering the software framework for download by publishers. CEO Staffan Ekholm told me recently the strategy is to release the software as a free download, so publishers can test it and build editions without committing outlay. Moving Media+ will, however, charge both a flat and a per-title fee to magazines that go ahead and distribute editions to consumers.

Ekholm said Mag+ is currently used by about 25 titles, including IDG’s MacWorld in Sweden.

Mag+ was worked up by global seven teams created by Bonnier over eight months in 2009, Ekholm told me. London design house BERG was the lead creative agency for what was then just a concept, but the software was actually realised. The pitch is that this is a production tool developed by publishers for publishers.