Old World Publishers Unite For New Media iPhone, iTablet

The iPhone, iPod touch, and still rumorware iTablet (among other mobile platforms) are so compelling that publishers like Condé Nast and now Time Inc. and Hearst are racing to get their slowly dying print media content all prepped and ready for an iPod-like digital savior. Says the New York Observer (via MacRumors) says:

The company would make up one of the biggest alliances among rival publishers ever formed in print media, with Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst all expected to join, houses that together publish more than 50 magazines, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and O, The Oprah Magazine.

The difference between this and just shipping e-reader content of Kindle-like devices and apps? They don't want to "pave the cowpath" (TM Fake Steve), they want to try and come up with an innovative way to make their content available that harnesses the power and connectivity of mobile devices, and in a way delightful enough readers will be willing to pay for it.

“With magazines, the form has to change,” [Time exec John Squires] continued. “All I’m saying is that there are ways to design magazines differently for that kind of experience that’ll be attractive and will feel different to a consumer.”

Good luck with that -- and we mean it sincerely. We want to be wowed.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Old World Publishers Unite For New Media iPhone, iTablet


I actually can't wait for this delivery mechanism to come about. There is a distinct limit to what I want to read sitting at my computer, and a distinctly smaller limit for staring at a tiny iPhone screen pinching squinting.
Given the fixed cost of distributing a magazine would fall to mere pennies (or fractions there of), I would think readership would climb, and subscription and advertising revenue would be much larger than today.
This of course bodes badly for free web content, which is what is killing the print media.
I would pay a few cents per issue to have several magazines always up to date on my reader, but not $1.50 per issue. I wouldn't even mind the ads if they kept the cost down.

Latest news is that these guys are planning to do an 'iTunes' type of distribution center for their content that will work for multiple platforms. They're probably a step ahead of Apple in this.