Perhaps sensing that their iron grip around print is fading, five major publishers today announced an initiative to develop an open standard for buying & reading media content on portable devices.
Taking a cue from Apple’s App Store, the five publishers — Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corporation and Time Inc. — announced the independent venture aimed at developing open standards for a new digital storefront and related technology to allow consumers to enjoy digital media content on the go.
The goal for the digital initiative covers four fronts: A highly featured common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look & feel of each publication, a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes, a consumer storefront offering an extensive selection of reading options, and finally, a rich array of innovative advertising opportunities to help pay for it all.
“For the consumer, this digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops,” explained the venture’s interim managing director, John Squires. “Once purchased, this content will be ‘unlocked’ for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform.”
In addition to the five publishers creating the alliance, the venture will also welcome other publishers to offer their content on the new platform. Publishers will generate revenue both from the content itself as well as advertising sales and print subscriptions.
The alliance aims to benefit both content providers as well as hardware & software makers, creating an entirely new magazine & newspaper reading experience that will expand to books, comic books, blogs and other media. No further information was provided regarding when and how such content would be available.