“With 4,863 titles, there’s something for everyone,” Readly said. It is a flat rate for magazines and newspapers that is functionally comparable to the streaming service Netflix: a monthly fee gives the user online access to thousands of magazines in which one can read as much and as long as one wants. GIGA editor Stefan shares his experience with the service and says whether the Readly subscription is worthwhile.
Magazine Flatrate Readly: Our Test Verdict
“Why buy a magazine? On the Internet, all the information is free!” – whoever believes this is wrong. Readly is a good proof that some information and entertainment is not just to be found on the net. The depth and versatility of the content is always impressive: tattoos, dogs, Italian cuisine, in-ear headphones, tanks – for almost everything you can find a magazine. Depending on the title, you will be exceptionally well informed about the respective topic.
“But aren’t magazines already dead?” No, not – but printed magazines need to adapt to change and continue to reach the reader, who has long spent his time mainly on his mobile phone and tablet. Despite all the difficulties magazines are still popular, especially in Germany.
I also appreciate the magazine format and at that time I regularly bought audio and video game magazines at the kiosk. For several months now, the online kiosk Readly (Cost: 9.99 Euro/month) both professionally and privately. The two key points from my experience are as follows:
1. Readly contains many things, but not everything.
2. If you want to make the most of Readly, use a tablet.
One should not have false hopes: Readly is not comprehensive in terms of selection. While music streaming services like Spotify feel to cover most of all titles ever released, the Readly flat rate offers only a snippet of the overall offering. Many interests are covered, but there will still be gaps here and there. The operation in the desktop browser (go.readly.com) is useful, but a bit sluggish – much better is the mobile app, which plays out all its strength on tablets. I use Readly on an iPad mini and am highly satisfied: the most important gestures are quickly learned, it feels natural after a short time to digitally “scroll through” a magazine.
Conclusion: Whether Readly is worth it logically depends on how much you actually read. Looking back over the last few months, my assessment is clear: I can easily get the €9.99 monthly fee back in over two weekends. It’s not just the magazines you really want to read – but also the many titles that you discover while browsing and into which you look a few pages wide. This is fun and a good change from the endless streams on Twitter and Instagram that are tiring in the long run. Reading two hours of magazines is a completely different and soothing experience, which I have now rediscovered for myself. By the way: 5 user profiles are included, Readly can also be used as a family.
- Easy to use without complicated special rules: everything you find in Readly can be read. There are no additional costs in addition to the regular monthly fee
- Very good mobile apps for reading on tablets (Android, iOS)
- International magazines (e.g. English, Turkish) are available, which enhances the offer if you master the language
- The selection is okay, but not outstanding: over 1,000 magazines in German, but still missing well-known names (Spiegel, Focus) and almost all daily newspapers
- You should refrain from using it on your desktop and mobile phone: on the computer, the operation is too shaky and on the smartphone the screen is simply too small
Magazine Flatrate Readly: Test Rating
- Selection: 75 percent
- Operation Desktop: 60 percent
- Operation mobile phone: 60 percent
- Operation Tablet: 85 percent
Total: 72 percent (Subgrade “Selection” is 50 percent of the total grade)
Readly in review: An offer to take a close look at before booking
“Woman with heart”, “AutoBild” or rather the “Gamestar”? Readly offers prospective buyers a discounted entry (first month 5.99 euros instead of 9.99 euros). Nevertheless, it is advisable to take a closer look at the overall offer beforehand and to compare it with your own interests. In addition, there is a Overview page of all magazines at Readly, which is also accessible without a subscription. Here you can search for titles and filter the selection by country.
Important to know: Readly currently lists more than 4,800 magazines (24 countries) – but if you limit it to Germany, there are “only” 1,034 titles left. Together with Austria and Switzerland then 1,224 titles. What I am missing are the daily newspapers: neither the FAZ nor the Süddeutsche Zeitung can be found, only a few titles by Axel Springer:
For this I find the selection of UK and US magazines excellent, because I don’t know them for the most part and rarely stumble stumbles over them in the kiosk. However, the prerequisite for this additional advantage through “foreign magazines” is that one masters the respective languages – a translation function is not available.
In general, it is advisable to FAQ on the Readly website Read. It says, for example, that you can pay the monthly fee by PayPal, SEPA direct debit or credit card (VISA, MasterCard) and that the subscription can be cancelled at any time.
Readly operation: Without a tablet only half as good
As mentioned earlier: Readly is best when using the app on a tablet. Although magazines can be opened in reading mode, where a practical text zoom is available, the perfect experience does not want to be set on a smartphone. The magazines are designed for a larger format. My iPad mini is almost a bit too small, occasionally I have to zoom in to be able to read more comfortably.
Reading on a laptop or PC monitor is useful for short research. However, the user interface in the browser and the input via mouse/touchpad are a bit slow and tedious.
You cannot select or copy text. Screenshots are possible (Readly version 4.6.4, tried out in iOS) and individual pages can be shared as a readable preview, e.g. via iMessage. Practical: You can set favorites and download complete magazines, so that later offline reading is possible. The search function works quickly and forgives small typos (“lautspreecher” instead of “speakers”).
Overall well implemented and quite suitable for everyday use, at least after a few minutes of getting used to it. What is missing, of course, is the haptic impression: How the stylish architecture magazine in silk matt lies sublimely on the glass table in the living room cannot be replayed digitally. Then only the walk to the kiosk will help.