The Japanese publishing industry experienced a tectonic shift today with the announcement of the new MagaStore app for the iPhone. Created by Dentsu (one of the biggest advertising firms in the world) and the software company Yappa, the initiative will allow users to download an app from the app store for 115 yen ($1.23) and then choose from over 30 magazines titles (with more to come) that will be formatted for reading like a paper publication (i.e. flipping pages with a swipe of your finger, enlarging text and photos, etc.).
The initial launch includes 20 major publishers such as Conde Nast Japan, Sony Magazines, Asahi Shimbun Publications, Kodansha and others. Titles will cost between 115 yen ($1.23) and 600 yen ($6.43) depending on the magazine title. The official launch will occur this summer and Dentsu plans to roll the service out for other phone companies later. While the print situation isn't as dire in Japan as it is in the U.S., the fact that Dentsu got in front of the problem on a platform (the iPhone) that many are still skeptical about in Japan is a good sign for Apple and points to the inevitable publishing paradigm shift most magazines globally will be forced to eventually accept.