The Cricket Monthly logo

ESPN Cricinfo seems to have launched a digital-only cricket magazine called The Cricket Monthly. It will be a monthly magazine and can be read on the website and on iOS and Android powered tablets. 

The site notes that magazine issues are currently available for free for a limited period and will roll out subscriptions shortly, although there is no specific timeline on this rollout. However, we noticed that the magazine’s iPad app already offers a monthly subscription for $0.99 (around Rs 61 in the current rates) and mentions that users will shortly be able to download single issues for $0.99.

ESPN Cricinfo has so far released four issues and focuses primarily on long-form articles, player profiles, interviews and text & photo features among others. ESPNCricinfo editor-in-chief Sambit Bal mentions that the magazine will focus on timeless content and will not feature any match reports, news analyses or columns on the month’s big stories, therefore acting as a complement to ESPNcricinfo.

Subscription model: Bal also mentions that they are experimenting with an ad-free subscription model through this magazine. He noted that the magazine pages will not feature any advertising and they “would like to keep them that way”.

Issues: We tried out the Android app on a Lenovo Idea Tab A1000 and noticed that the default font size is quite low and the app doesn’t support zoom, which makes reading the articles quite a strain (especially since these are long-form articles).

The Cricket Monthly

Another concern is the size of each issue. The August issue was 183MB, which we think is a little too much. However, the quality of the articles and accompanying photographs make up for the large issue size.

Play Newsstand? We are curious whether ESPN Cricinfo will also offer this magazine on the Google’s news & magazine reader service Play Newsstand. Note that Cricinfo was one of the 30 launch partners for Google Newsstand when Google rolled it out in India in September this year.