Unless you’re plugged into the Danish startup scene, you’ve probably never heard of Issuu.
What is weird about that: 70 million people used Issuu’s software last month.
This is what an Issuu embed looks like:
According to the company, Issuu gets 20,000 uploads each day, and serves up 5.5 billion pageviews per month.
You don’t have to pay to upload magazine PDFs to Issuu, but for $US40 per month you get to dress-up your PDF with links and things. Small magazines, like Davidson College’s literary tabloid, Libertas, use Issuu. So do bigger ones like VICE.
Issuu CEO Joe Hyrkin (an ex-Yahoo) says tens of thousands of magazines are paying each month.
Issuu was founded in Copenhagen, but Hyrkin is moving its headquarters to Northern California, where he lives.
Issuu obviously faces all kinds of challenges.
Converting a printed magazine to a PDF is a quick and dirty way for a print magazine to go digital. But the number of print magazines in the world is shrinking. Won’t the magazines of the future build for digital first? Doesn’t that mean they’ll build apps for Apple or Amazon? Or webpages to be searched by Google?
Hrykin has all kinds of answers for these questions. He says Google search doesn’t bring up good niche content. He says magazine apps are too hard to make.
We’ll see! At the very least, 70 million unique visitors is nothing to sniff at. To put that number in context, check out this cool chart Hyrkin sent us: