Omnibus magazines vs. other E-Mag readers


The concept of online electronic magazines are not new. The format started in the late nineties as a way to represent traditional magazines in a digital format. Initially, magazines were simply scanned and the images uploaded to a web server. Later electronic magazine were a little more sophisticated and were often produced as PDF files that could be read online or downloaded. More recently, Adobe Flash has become the format of choice for producing online digital magazines.

Unfortunately, most of these attempts failed miserably to garner any support from readers. The reasons for this are varied:

  1. Scanned images took a very long time to download and were usually of a much lower quality than the printed material.
  2. PDF files (like any other digital information) can be easily copied and distributed without a reduction in quality.
  3. Convincing readers to pay for online content has always been difficult.

Publishers for the most part seemed to miss the point of the internet, which was designed primarily to share information. Obviously, sharing your copy of XYZ Magazine with the world doesn’t really fit well into the business plan of most publishers!

We believe that Omnibus Publications solve most of the issues with first generation digital magazines. The following article lists the primary differences between Omnibus based Electronic Magazines and online E-Magazines.

  1. Omnibus based E-Magazines are downloaded in their entirety and viewed offline.
    Most other E-Magazines can only be viewed online. Some may provide a PDF download function, but this opens up the potential for readers to distribute illegal copies of a magazine.
    • Much improved user experience – Magazine content is browsed locally so the typical user experience is much better and magazine response is very fast.
    • Offline viewing – The user does not need to have an Internet connection to read magazines, only to download magazines.
    • Very low impact on normal Internet usage – Magazines are downloaded only when the Internet connection is not otherwise being utilized. Magazine downloading is performed in the background and does not require any user interaction.
  2. Magazines are stored securely in an Omnibus on the local PC.
    With other solutions, magazines are only available online and can never be “owned” by readers. We acknowledge the fact that people would more likely pay for subscriptions if they could own the magazine.
    • Promote magazine ownership and reader loyalty – Readers effectively “own” purchased magazines and can read it as often as they wish. They can also bookmark and cut/paste articles photos, etc.
    • Copyright and DRM protection – Magazine content cannot be hacked and illegally re-used on other web sites
    • Access to past issues – All owned magazines are stored together in one Omnibus. This provides an incentive to subscribe and promote a “collect them all” marketing strategy
  3. Omnibus files can be remotely managed and updated by the publisher.
    Publishers create and maintain content of related magazines as a single entity. With PDF files and other E-Book formats, the publisher looses control of their content the moment it is downloaded. An Omnibus gives control back to the publisher and allows them to update and control access to the content of the Omnibus. An Omnibus provides publishers with a secure storage area on the user’s computer.
    • Everything in one place – All magazine issues are stored together and can be manipulated as a single entity. There is only a single file on the user’s computer for each publication.
    • Secure – Maximum security for the users. Publishers do not have access to anything on the user’s computer other than the content of Omnibus files associated with them.
    • Flexible – Maximum flexibility for the publisher. Publishers have full control of the content of an Omnibus file and can change, update or delete anything inside the Omnibus