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qMags – Profile

August 24, 2004

HQ: New York City with a subsidiary in Bangalore, India
Founded: 1999
Management: CEO Daniel Schwartz was the publisher of the Asian Venture Capital Journal. Co-founder is J. Vishwanathan, who runs Indian subsidiary. Gary Marshall, CEO of trade publisher CMP (not to be confused with Garry Marshall, the creator of Happy Days), is a Director.
Investors: A total mystery to us at the moment.
Business Model: Electronic issues of magazines delivered via the Internet, viewable in PDF or Quicktime for multimedia content. Issues are exact copies of printed magazines, including illustrations, graphics, and advertising. Decent list of particiapting publishers, but we can’t imagine any of them are willing to pay much (if anything) to participate. Money likely comes through revenue sharing agreements on subscriptions sold. If anything, publishers may be asking for up-front guarantees.
Competitors: Zinio, Newsstand
Dirt: Most magazine publishers will try anything once. They like the idea of being able to reach an international audience more efficiently and cheaply – and that’s something qMags can legitimately improve for most of its prospective partners. qMags biggest challenge, however, is that it competes in a market that perpetually fails to meet its potential… which makes us wonder if that potential is real. The company also appears to have launched a magazine in 2003 which covers the underachieving “Digital Delivery” market. Put this one in the “Bad Idea” file. qMags should stick to its core business.


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