Rogers launches binge-reading magazine service NextIssue across Canada, offers free trial

Do you know what today is? Yes, in many parts of the country it is cold, blustery and otherwise terrible, but it’s also the first day Canadians can subscribe to NextIssue, Rogers’ play at magazine binging.

The company partnered with a conglomerate of U.S. publishers, most notably Conde Nast and Hearst, earlier this year to deliver its own publications to Americans in exchange for offering NextIssue up here.

There are two pricing tiers: a $9.99/month entry piece that offers monthlies like Vanity Fair and Esquire; and a $14.99/month option that includes weeklies like The New Yorker and Macleans.

After launching a two-month free trial beta period for Rogers customers, NextIssue is now available to all Canadians with a 30-day free trial for the sceptics out there. While the best experience comes from an iPad, Android and Windows 8 tablet users can also take advantage of the excellent custom publishing tools. As I found in my hands-on, there are a few outstanding issues with some of the formatting, and the CMS doesn’t allow for the same interactivity as iTunes, but it’s getting there.

The company also says that it will begin pushing HD versions of all of its material as soon as the publishers submit them; for now, though, users are subject to a mishmash of SD and HD, depending on the publisher and title.

Still, for $15 per month, you can gain access to 115 magazines — or at least 10 fantastic ones — which works out to around half the price of an annual subscription to a single pub.