Foli Brings Digital Magazines to Waiting Rooms
Whether it is a doctors office, auto repair shop or other places with a waiting room, there are two things that are guaranteed to be found, long wait times and outdated reading material.
Foli aims to solve one of these problems by bringing digital magazines to waiting rooms and other public places.
This service is the creation of Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur Henry He, who developed Foli as a tool for people to access their favorite digital magazines on their tablet through its patented geo-location technology.
Businesses who partner with Foli can be turned into an access point within minutes, so anyone who downloads the free app from the Apple App Store can open what is essentially a portal that hosts digital magazines from their publishing partners.
The key, is those publications can only be viewed in those locations. The exception lies in a unique feature Foli offers partners, which enables visitors to digitally "tear" out an article, save it and read it at after they leave the Foli location.
The ability to "borrow" these publications was the market He recognized for the millions of people who read digital magazines on their tablet computers.
"I had an a-ha moment," He said. "I had a habit of going to the public library to borrow a book instead of buying it. Then, when the iPad came out, I really liked it, but I noticed you couldn't borrow books on it and that was a problem for me.
"I started looking around and noticed this was true in other locations. You would go to a waiting room and see magazines that were six months old, with pages torn out of them. Because the iPad has become such a content consumption device, we saw this as an opportunity to develop our platform so we could both solve this problem and be a disruptor in the publishing industry."
Foli rolled out with a soft launch earlier this year at various locations around Silicon Valley and San Francisco. He has already secured a couple of high-profile publishing partners with titles such as GQ, Wired, Glamour, Lucky and Vanity Fair among the national magazines currently available in Foli. He is seeking to expand the reading choices through new partnerships with national and regional publishers.
He said the initial rollout was met with a tremendous response and now they will aggressively seek nationwide expansion of Foli to hotel chains, doctors offices, coffee shops, spas, salons, hotel chains, libraries and other similar locations.
"We wanted to prove our product can be useful and we were figuring out how to scale in a meaningful way," He said. "Five years down the road, I hope Foli is everywhere."
There is no cost for publishers to become partners. Benefits in the partnership lie in the additional exposure titles will receive as Foli expands, which hopefully translate to new subscriptions or single-issue sales. For the locations who partner with Foli, they benefit by offering an additional service, which leads to more satisfied customers.
In the future, He says Foli could expand beyond digital magazines and also include games, music, video and other tablet-based apps.
Now if only Foli could figure out how to get our doctor to see us at the time we were scheduled to see them.
For more information on Foli, visit getfoli.com
Full disclosure: MVP Media is in discussions with Foli about becoming a publishing partner.
Ron Matejko is the President of Phoenix, Ariz.-based MVP Media, an award-winning digital publishing company. Matejko has 16 years of publishing experience in print, Web and mobile and has worked on the staff of two award-winning publications.
MVP Media publishes MVP Magazine, the first interactive sports publication, which won a Bronze 2010 Digital Magazine Award for Best Sports Magazine, besting entrants from 26 countries around the world, and was a finalist for Designer of the Year. MVP Media will launch its own magazines on the iPad in 2011.
MVP Media also helps existing publishers convert their print products into dynamic publications for the web and tablets. Visit the MVP Magazine website at www.mvptoday.com. Contact Ron by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with him on LinkedIn or on Twitter @mvp_media.