Bar deploys Apple’s iBeacon to give patrons free access to Newsstand magazines

“iBeacon, Apple’s hyperlocal trigger tech in iOS 7, is an innovation that holds a lot of promise, and that will probably continue to make waves in the retail industry for a long time to come,” Darrell Etherington reports for TechCrunch. “One London-based company is using it in a slightly more novel way, employing them to help sell subscriptions to digital magazines.

“Exact Editions is the company, and the digital publishing startup already makes magazines targeted at iPhone, iPad and Android devices,” Etherington reports. “The use of iBeacons by Exact Editions is part of their ByPlace program, which launched earlier this year to help publishers specify certain locations where their titles could be available without the usual individual subscription fee.”

“The tech is very handy in a number of scenarios, as in a coffee shop for instance, where the establishment could subscribe and enable access to full magazines to patrons who come in,” Etherington reports. “It’s made even more convenient with the addition of iBeacons on iOS, as the whole digital handshake can happen automatically, providing the user with the best possible and most frictionless experience. Another possible use is in modernizing the doctor’s office, offering up publications in the waiting room that are more useful and more current than five-year old issues of Good Housekeeping. ‘As this is very much new technology we are showcasing it for the first time at Bar Kick in Shoreditch, London,’ Exact Editions’ Daniel Hodgkin explained about the first real world use of the tech. ‘When in this bar, the soccer magazine ‘When Saturday Comes’ and the fashion and culture magazine ‘Dazed & Confused will be available.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is just the beginning. Apple’s iBeacon will soon revolutionize many businesses and markets!

Note: iBeacon Compatible devices are currently:
• Apple iOS devices with Bluetooth 4.0 (iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3 and later, iPod touch 5, iPad mini and later)
• Android devices with Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 4.3 and later (Samsung Galaxy S3/S4, Samsung Galaxy Note II/III, HTC One, Nexus 7 2013 edition, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, HTC Butterfly, Droid DNA)
• Mac with OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and Bluetooth 4.0 via the MacBeacon application from Radius Networks.

Related articles:
Macy’s becomes first retailer to deploy Apple’s iBeacon for in-store presence – November 20, 2013
Beyond retail: What’s next for indoor location tracking with Apple’s iBeacon – November 15, 2013
Apple’s location-tracking iBeacon is poised to explode across retail faster than anyone can imagine – October 25, 2013
Attention, retailers: With iBeacon, Apple has figured out mobile marketing – October 11, 2013
Apple’s iBeacon to deliver completely interactive experiences for fans at MLB stadiums – September 27, 2013
Apple’s amazing iOS 7: Three game-changers hidden in plain sight – September 26, 2013
Apple’s brilliant iBeacons system will enable purchases, contextual marketing, automated check-ins and much more – September 14, 2013
Apple’s NFC killer: iOS 7′s iBeacons – September 11, 2013
iBeacons may prove to be Apple’s biggest new feature for iOS 7


  1. What happens when I walk out of the coffee shop after drinking my coffee? Will the electronic subscription be yanked from the Newsstand? Or will I get to keep that edition for free? What if I sit at the coffee shop nursing one $2 coffee and download all that magazine’s editions, say all 12 monthly editions for 2013, then turn my phone off or put it into airplane mode? Will I get to keep all the editions for free when I walk out of that coffee shop? Nice way to get free magazines, if true.

      1. You sound like another idiotic iFan with no brains. Ask yourself this question. Is Apple gaming the system by agglomerating all European revenues to low tax Ireland? Are they gaming the system by setting up Braeburn Capital to keep monies earned offshore off the U.S? Is Apple gaming the system by borrowing cheaply and paying dividends?

        It shows what buying Apple products can do to the brainwashed.

        1. Uhh, Apple was not the one who “invented” the techniques they use to minimize or escape taxes depending on your viewpoint.

          Nations have set up specific tax laws to encourage certain types of business. Companies then decide if they want to use them. Lobbyists suggest tactics to countries and laws come and go and change all the time.

          That is life. If it was your company, you would do the same thing to try to make sure you stayed profitable with your competitors in the same markets.

          1. Exactly, so how can reading a magazine app that can be downloaded for free and then leaving the coffee shop with a free copy of the magazine be deemed gaming the system when the act of downloading is encouraged by the coffee shop as an inducement to drink coffee there. Doing what is permitted cannot under any circumstances be labelled gaming the system.

            1. I think that the comment was targeted against the idea of downloading every available edition for free to read later, which violates the intent of the service described in the article. As far as I can tell, however, it does not violate the actual rules, so it is fair game IMO.

              If that is the way that the service is set up, then some people are going to download lots of “free” content and the cost of the service will eventually adapt. If it brings enough extra revenue into the business that is subsidizing this service, then they will continue to subscribe and the costs will be passed on to the consumer. That’s the way the world works.

              Attempting to “game” the system is what makes life interesting for some people. I see it as a challenge of sorts to assess the rules and figure out how to apply them to best advantage. Once I figure out a system, then I tend to lose interest and move on to the next challenge. Almost every game (or situation) has a weakness or a flaw that leads to an optimal approach in terms of gain. Once you figure it out, you use it until it is no longer available. Back in 2007, for instance, I found that it was possible to get Apple Black Friday discounts on top of the government store discount. That technique apparently did not work with the education store. Regardless, that loophole was (unfortunately) closed the last time that I checked. I also recall an old MechWarrior computer game in which a friend and I realized that the flawed game AI tended to focus on killing off the main protagonist, Jason, and ignore the other Mech units. The winning approach was to have Jason’s Mech unit maintain distance from the enemy and slowly retreat while your other Mechs flanked the pursuers and blasted them from the side and back. That got us past some tough challenges.

              Life is full of rules. Some you follow. Some you don’t. Some you leverage to your advantage.

    1. Good questions and perhaps there are different options on how to handle. Perhaps it can disable your subscriptions after say 3 hours or once you are a mile away from the business? Or they may not really care that you downloaded a bunch of free subscriptions since their real goal was to get you to come in. Sure they’d love for you to convert (buy something) while in the store, but they also want to offer something free and cool to prospective customers and realize that some are freeloaders and any “abuse” is just a cost of doing business.

    2. You can also download free music on the internet… but funny thing is most don’t go through the hassle.

      Not that many are going to turn on airplane mode just to get a free magazine… besides, it might disappear next time they turn on internet. Or… it may just stay in your newsstand. Who knows. I’m sure there’s a business model to account for that though.

    3. Of course. That’s the whole point. If a coffee shop purchases a NY Times and you’re reading it in the coffee shop, you don’t take it with you. That’s stealing.

      So this system will allow retail operations to purchase subscriptions that let any patron read whatever mags are part of the subscription while they’re in the retail store.

      It’s a simple matter for Newstand and iBeacons to determine where your location is and allow/disallow access.

      Seems like a great deal – people get lots of free reading materials, it encourages folks to go to those retails stores and give exposure to magazines and newspapers so that folks might be encouraged to purchase them.

  2. I think this could be a very powerful technology for local businesses that choose to embrace it. Hopefully it will allow the local small businesses to offer their customers some unique value and experience. It will be interesting to see if this drives foot traffic and if it helps small biz compete with national chains better. However it’s gonna take those that embrace technology and are early adopters which isn’t always the case in mom & pop stores.

    1. You’ll get some notification on your half-assed device. It’ll be related to however you fragmandroid cheapskates manage your nonexistent newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Likely you have no idea, since you’re too cheap to pay for anything of quality and cannot recognize value.

      1. LOL… I think you misinterpreted the reason for my question. But props on the voracity.

        I’m not an Android user asking how I can get iBeacons on my shit-phone. I’m asking how does Android get to use Apple’s tech. Wouldn’t that be like the App Store appearing on the latest Samsung device? (Something I’m sure they’ve tried to reverse engineer into existance already.)

    1. Sure. 30% of what the retail locations paid to gain access to the titles. And this also drives people to Newsstand to purchase titles for themselves at which point they get another 30%

      It drives sales of Apple iDevices since this will be an exclusive iOS operation.

      In addition, it primes those retail operation for whatever Apple is going to roll out for their iBeacon retail operation. The infrastructure is already in place at those locations.

  3. I’m hoping the my super market will get in on iBeacons soon. I want to add things to my shopping list and when I get into the market, the app shows me were each item is located. Hopefully it will stop my multiply trips to each side of the store to find what I need.

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