Look How Far We’ve Come! Flipster Digital Magazines Celebrates Three Amazing Years Serving Libraries

Library Resources | Katie Sullivan| August 17, 2017

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This October, Flipster commemorates its third year providing libraries access to best-selling digital magazines. To celebrate, we’re sharing Flipster milestones.

Three years ago, we started out with an idea to offer libraries an easy-to-use digital magazine platform that library members could access on the go at anytime, anywhere. And now, as Flipster commemorates three years serving libraries, we want to reflect on our growth, thank our customers and offer some unique facts about how EBSCO’s digital magazine newsstand got started. 

Flipper or Flipster?

When it comes to picking a brand or product name, every company has its own approach. At EBSCO, we give our employees a chance to get creative and help select the names of new products such as Flipster. According to Flipster Senior Director of Product Management, Tracey Paine, the process of selecting the name resulted from a powerful trifecta of employee creativity, platform tester validation and leadership approval. “We held an internal naming contest and received dozens of great options from EBSCO employees,” she said, adding that the list was then narrowed down to ten options by the executive team.

Options that were considered for the new EBSCO digital magazine platform name included:

  • Unfold
  • Flipper
  • Skoodle
  • Perooz
  • Breeze

“Once a list of ten possible names was established, we asked library professionals who conducted testing on the new platform to pick their three favorites.” Paine explained. “From there, our executive team made the final decision and Flipper became Flipster.”

It was great to see the collaboration and partnerships among EBSCO, publishers and libraries come together to build a digital magazine resource that everyone loves. – Mark Balentine, Vice President of Sales

Flipster Firsts

Expectations were high for Flipster right from the beginning. As publishers signed onto the platform and the number of popular and best-selling magazines grew in a matter of months, positive word of mouth quickly spread to libraries around the world.

“It was exciting to see an idea go from conception to launch,” said Mark Balentine, Vice President of Sales. “We quickly knew we were onto something great when our first customer, who had been using EBSCOhost databases via the Alabama Virtual Library for nearly 15+ years, saw the platform and immediately signed up.”

Here are some Flipster Firsts:

First official launch date: October 31, 2014
First Flipster customer: Emmet O'Neal Library in Mountain Brook, Alabama 
First publisher licensed: National Wildlife Federation
First five magazines available on the platform:

  1. Girls' Life
  2. National Review
  3. Newsweek Global
  4. Current Biography
  5. Consumer Reports

The Flipster Foundation is Based on Shared Success

As the Flipster platform was developed, the team never lost sight of the concept of shared success among libraries, publishers and the EBSCO platform. In order for digital magazines to be a viable product for libraries to offer, for publishers to endorse and for platform providers to support, there must be a balance of popular content, ease of use and affordability.

Balentine said, “It was great to see the collaboration and partnerships among EBSCO, publishers and libraries come together to build a digital magazine resource that everyone loves.”

The Celebration is Just Beginning

We have many activities planned for the upcoming weeks leading up to our official launch birthday of October 31st. Here are a few different ways to get involved in the celebration:

Subscribe to Inside Flipster newsletter and get involved in our #FlipsterFunFacts survey
Follow EBSCO on Twitter and Facebook or search #FlipsterFunFacts and look for chances to win Flipster Prize Packs during the month of October
Next month: Go to our Flipster success story page and read the “Where are they now” interview with our first Flipster subscriber, Emmet O'Neal Library in Mountain Brook, AL

As we continue to dig up #FlipsterFunFacts to share over the coming weeks, consider requesting a free trial and see why academic, school, public and specialty libraries use Flipster as their digital magazine provider.

Request Free Trial

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