Condé Nast and Time Inc. Tip Hat to iPad, But Where Are The Magazines?
Posted 01/28/2010 at 7:23am | by J.R. Bookwalter
After weeks of rumors, Apple finally made good with a tablet computer called the iPad. But one thing is conspicuously absent from its new iBookstore, particularly after so many publishers have promised them: Magazines. The New York Times’ Media Decoder has a report following up on the absence of magazines from the iPad’s virtual shelves. In the last few months, there has been all sorts of chatter from publishers such as Condé Nast and Time Inc. about bringing their publications to the then-rumored device (including showing off a digital version of Wired magazine), but there wasn’t an e-magazine to be found at yesterday’s Apple media event.
“They didn’t approach us,” said Sarah Chubb, president of Condé Nast Digital. “My guess is, there was no way in three weeks that we could imagine and create something that would be kind of stunning visually,” referring to the time frame that the participating developers were given to prepare for the event.
“We have a great relationship with them -- I’m not sorry, nor do I feel dissed in this,” Chubb concludes.
Condé Nast plans to have tablet-ready magazines by the time the iPad ships in late March, at the minimum some variation of the GQ iPhone app -- but hopefully full iPad versions of several magazines, with the likely candidates being Vanity Fair, Wired and GQ.
Time Inc. also plans to jump into the iPad pool: “It was great and it was great for us,” exclaimed Terry McDonell, editor of Sports Illustrated Group. “When we developed the SI touch tablet prototype, it was designed for something very close to what we saw from Apple today.” Time Inc. spokeswoman Dawn Bridges confirmed via e-mail that the company was preparing tablet editions of all of its U.S. publications.
But for all of the cheer spread by those companies, there’s always a party pooper. Christian Hendricks, the vice president of interactive media at newspaper publisher McClatchy, said that while the iPad was of interest for them, “we certainly don’t view it as game-changing” in the near term.
“The truth is these devices are expensive, they tend to go to the high-end market, they tend to be driven by books, and we haven’t seen tremendous interest as far as demand for newspaper subscriptions on it,” Hendricks concluded.