December 3, 2012
The company that allows users to save content for later reading has announced their first publisher partnership. Content from MATTER, a digital publishing company that focuses on long form storytelling, is now available through Pocket for $0.99 per month. Featuring stories on science, technology, and the future, MATTER was funded this year through Kickstarter. It is the brainchild of two journalists, Jim Giles, and Bobbie Johnson, who wanted to focus on “high-quality journalism.” As such, "MATTER isn't quite a website, it's not really a magazine and it's not exactly a book publisher either." As Giles told Pocket:
It was a combination of frustration about science and technology journalism, together with the emergence of a new business model. Bobbie and I feel that there isn’t enough really great long-form reporting on sci/tech, particularly investigative work. We know lots of sci/tech reporters with strong stories to tell and nowhere to publish them. Then we saw The Atavist and Byliner make a success of what’s being called the “singles” model: selling individual long-form articles on e-reader platforms like the Kindle store. We figured we could adapt that model and use to publish this missing content.If there is one drawback to this partnership it is this: To subscribe to MATTER for use through Pocket, you must first purchase a subscription on their website. You must also send articles that you are interested in reading later directly from here. This is confusing and seems to be designed to get around Apple's in-app subscription service. Hopefully, this limitation will be corrected in the future. At launch, there is only one MATTER article available, the 7,826 word “Do No Harm," by Anil Ananthaswamy. It is about “being at war with your own body.” Once this process is completed, go Options > Manage Site Subscriptions > Matter and then login through your Pocket app. Articles are viewable via the Pocket iOS app or through their Mac application. Despite a somewhat cumbersome subscription process, the Pocket-MATTER partnership could prove interesting. Once I get a chance to look at the service in more detail, I'll let you know my thoughts.