Abril, Brazil’s Top Magazine Publisher, Launches Digital Platform

Abril, the largest magazine publisher in Brazil, has launched the beta version of iba, a new platform for sales and distribution of digital books, magazines and newspapers. The new platform opened with 5,000 digital editions from 50 publishers and 23 different magazines.

Ricardo Garrido, operational director of iba, says the company is negotiating to offer additional magazines from rival companies; by the end of the year, he expects to close a deal with Associação Nacional de Jornais (ANJ), the national newspaper association, to add newspapers to the platform as well.

Garrido said customers will be able to purchase individual titles or subscribe to magazines and they will be able to be read on iPads, Android devices and PCs. The company will not offer “apps,” and purchases will funneled through the company’s website. Iba also announced a partnership with HP, which will pre-install access to iba’s application.

Publishers interested in distributing their titles through the platform will have to provide the required digital files — in one or more formats available on the platform — and iba will handle sales and distribution. Pricing is to be determined by the individual publishers.

Iba didn’t offer details on how much is will charge publisher for the service, saying that it depends on the type of product and the number of downloads, though Garrido did note, “Our costs are lower than Apple’s [30% commission] and we offer a much broader range of services.”

Iba also plans to add a self-publishing service and international content in the future. “But those are not priorities now,” said Garrido. “At the moment, we want to focus on offering the widest range of Brazilian content possible.

Iba is expected be fully operational and officially launch in February 2012.

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