Another day, another massive investment into a digital media company.
The latest is digital magazine subscription service Next Issue Media which today secured a new $50 million round of funding.
Next Issue’s service gives you unlimited access to a huge library of digital magazines (both current and old issues) for $10 to $15 per month. The service features over 145 different magazine titles, such as Entertainment Weekly, Better Homes and Gardens, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Consumer Reports, and more. Additionally, it gives you complimentary content in the form of videos, photo galleries, and more available for magazine issues.
The company itself is actually a joint venture created by some of the world’s largest magazine publishers, including Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. That makes Next Issue similar to streaming music service Spotify, which major music labels all own a stake in, but which has complete control over how the business is run (to ensure it doesn’t cannibalize the business of individual magazine sales). Next Issue allocates payments to publishers based on how long subscribers spend consuming each magazine.
The funding comes from investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and follows a string of massive funding announcements in the media/tech space, like BuzzFeed ($50 million), Reddit ($50 million), Vox ($46.5 million), Imgur ($40 million), Business Insider ($12 million), and Vice ($500 million).
Next Issue has more than 150,000 paying subscribers, but has yet to achieve profitability, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The additional capital it picked up will presumably be used to reignite consumer interest in digital magazines, which never quite took off due in part to heavy competition from free ad-supported news websites.