Paid digital circulation continues to expand
Digital magazine circulation has reportedly doubled in the second half of 2011, reaching 3.29 million from 1.46 million in the same period in 2010, according to data collected by trade group Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). Digital sales still represent a fraction of total publishing, however, taking one percent share in a market that is still dominated by print circulation.
Conde Nast rolls mag updates for the new iPad
Conde Nast has started issuing updates for its iPad magazines with support for the Retina Display on the new iPad, starting with the April issues. Magazines to get the updates so far include GQ and Wired. Prior to the update, users had been experiencing pixilation issues using Apple’s latest tablet, with its high-res 2048x1536 display showing up deficiencies in quality.
Conde Nast explains reader data for iPad mags
Conde Nast took an important step towards giving tablet magazines a foothold by outlining regular readership data for its rapidly growing tablet apps. Advertisers and others who need it will now get both the usual subscription and one-time sales as well as metrics that can't be tracked with paper. The stats will show how often a reader opened an issue and how much total time they spent with it, showing the real engagement and whether an issue was effective.
Helps launch of digital subscription service
Amazon to help kick off the launch of the Kindle Fire is offering unusually long, three-month free trial subscriptions through its Kindle Fire Newsstand. Those who get the Android tablet will have temporary free access to 17 magazines from Condé Nast, including Vanity Fair, GQ, Wired and Glamour. The option extends through to anyone who buys a Kindle Fire by March 1.
Conde Nast credits iOS 5 to surge in reading
Condé Nast suggested on Tuesday that tablet magazines might have turned a corner with the launch of iOS 5. Since the iPad received access to Newsstand, subscriptions across titles like GQ and The New Yorker climbed 268 percent. Single issues reaped their own rewards and spiked 142 percent, the publisher said.
Pilot would provide scheduled printing of content
HP today detailed an unusual collaboration with publisher Condé Nast. Together, the two companies hoped to create a distribution method that combined online subscription content with digital-to-print services. The program, which is a pilot, would let a subscriber schedule delivery of material from Condé Nast directly to the printer to make a hard copy.
Amazon Kindle Fire confirmed early
Amazon officially if partially entered the tablet arena on Wednesday by launching the Kindle Fire. The seven-inch tablet uses a heavily customized version of Android 2.1 and is a showcase for Amazon Prime, Amazon MP3, Cloud Player, and now much more optimized magazines on the Kindle bookstore with a newsstand for titles from Condé Nast, Hearst, and Meredith. The $79 Prime subscription gets the usual free two-day shipping as well as unlimited access to Amazon Internet video; a 30-day trial comes with the sale.
Rare free content from Conde Nast
The New Yorker and publisher Condé Nast have released a new iPhone app, Goings On. Unlike the magazine's flagship iPad app, Goings On is completely free, primarily serving as a source of arts and entertainment listings for New York City. Users can sort events by category, date and location, and check New Yorker restaurant reviews as well as maps and venues' overall schedules.
May point to performance of iPad mag industry
The New Yorker currently has over 100,000 iPad readers, of which roughly 20,000 have paid for annual subscriptions, the New York Times has learned. The former only added subscription options in May, having previously limited people to buying individual issues for $5 each. While people can still buy single issues, the magazine is selling monthly subscriptions for $6 or yearly ones for $60.
Talks ongoing for more ads
Flipboard has begun the process of adding fullscreen advertising to some of its curated feeds, an interview reveals. The first partner is publisher Condé Nast, which is inserting an American Express campaign into the official New Yorker stream. Wired, Bon Appétit and other magazines will also be saturated with ads as the year progresses. The next advertiser to join the fray will be Lexus, starting in October.
Adobe and Conde team to make digital mag ads pay
Adobe and Condé Nast teamed up on Thursday in hopes of improving how tablet and other digital magazine publishers can track their readers. A new metrics system will let companies publishing on the iPad, Android, and elsewhere track the "circulation" across both one-time readers and subscribers as well as information that could only be had from digital. The tracking will let a publisher see how how many people have seen an ad, how often, and how often people return to a magazine.
Rolling Stone head Wenner cautious on iPad
Rolling Stone co-creator Jann Wenner in a discussion late Monday dismissed the idea of tablet magazines in the near term. The Wenner Media founder didn't rule out a digital transition but called the influx of tablet magazines, mostly on the iPad, "sheer insanity" driven by a reflexive action. Companies had to be ready to switch over, but they were confusing a short-term drop with a need to act immediately, he told AdAge.
GQ and Wired get iTunes subscriptions at last
Condé Nast rounded out its burst of iTunes subscription changeovers by adding two of its more popular magazines to the mix. Both GQ (free, App Store) and Wired (App Store) for the iPad now follow the same model that the publisher started earlier this month with the New Yorker. Readers can pay either $20 for a yearly subscription or $2 for each individual issue; print subscribers get access for free.
Vanity Fair signs up for iTunes subs for iPad
(Update: more magazines onboard) Vanity Fair on Monday became Condé Nast's next magazine to enlist for iTunes subscriptions. The iPad app (free, App Store) follows a similar pattern to last week and can take subscriptions of $20 per year along with $2 per issue either in a recurring subscription or per issue. Print subscribers in Canada and the US also get the magazine for free and at the same yearly price.
iTunes publisher logjam cleared by frequent opt-in
Apple on Wednesday confirmed that the sudden flood of iTunes magazine subscriptions available in recent days was due to a change of heart by publishers. Internet services VP Eddy Cue told tablet magazine publisher Nomad Editions' Mark Edmiston that publishers had found about 50 percent of all readers voluntarily providing their names and e-mail addresses when asked. The "insurmountable obstacle" of a lack of automatic access to subscriber info turned out to be a non-issue, Edmiston explained to Forbes.
New Yorker goes iTunes subscriptions
Rumors of Condé Nast using iTunes subscriptions proved true on Monday as the feature came to the iPad version of The New Yorker (free, App Store). While individual issues still cost $5, readers can pay $6 per month for four issues or $60 for a year's worth. The discount is a possible first for an iTunes subscription as it costs $10 less than the print equivalent.
Conde Nast may pip Hearst to iTunes subscriptions
Condé Nast could not only side with Hearst in offering iTunes magazine subscriptions but beat it to the mark by having the option first, a source rumored this weekend. iPad magazine titles like GQ and Wired will reportedly be available under Apple's plan as soon as early next week. The New York Post understood that yearly subscriptions would go for the same $20 as Hearst but that Condé would also slash the price of buying individual issues from the $4 or $5 newsstand price down to $2.
Costs to rise despite lack of subscriptions
The iPad versions of GQ, Vanity Fair and Glamour are all migrating to new apps within the next month, says publisher Conde Nast. The major factor involved is a decision to migrate from a proprietary digital publishing system to one created by Adobe. Adobe would likely have become an industry standard for iPad magazines last summer -- thanks to an ability to cross-compile for different platforms -- but Apple temporarily banned third-party development tools, only restoring developer freedoms under the looming threat of an FTC investigation.
Full magazine still missing from App Store
Fashion magazine Vogue has released its first-ever iPad application, Vogue Cover Exclusive. The title concentrates narrowly on the magazine's cover subjects, documenting them in articles and photo collections. Beyond paper or web content the app offers videos, extra interviews and alternate images.
Experts raise antitrust concerns
The Online Publishers Association is taking a critical stance toward Apple's new in-app subscription policies, according to a representative. The group includes several major publishers, namely Bloomberg, Forbes, Hearst, Time, Conde Nast and National Geographic. Its concern, claims association publisher Pam Horan, is the flexibility to serve customers.
Next Issue tablet mags due on Android first
A joint storefront from top publishers to sell tablet magazines, Next Issue, will launch on Android first and not the iPad, its CEO Morgan Guenther said today. While there weren't any technical obstacles to an iPad version of the store, Next Issue said it would go with an Android version first since it was a "very important tablet platform" and also important on phones. Support for Apple would come in time, he told AllThingsD, but only the Android version would be ready for the early 2011 launch.
Existing apps to be reworked using Adobe software
Condé Nast has announced that it will use Adobe's publishing tools for upcoming tablet editions, rather than taking its own approach. The company has already been using Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite for Wired and The New Yorker, while the in-house methods were used to create iPad apps for GQ, Vanity Fair and Glamour.
Adobe fix not yet implemented in apps
A number of iPad publications are currently vulnerable to piracy, says the Huffington Post. With affected apps, the hacking process is described as relatively simple. Users need only root around an iPad with a software tool like iPhone Explorer to copy out a particular PLIST file, responsible for managing an app's download information. After flipping any "purchasable" items to "viewable," the PLIST is copied back, where it then allows people to download issues of a publication for free after choosing to delete non-existent local copies.
Subscriptions key to app's future, says publisher
After several months in production, publisher Condé Nast has at last released the first iPad edition of The New Yorker, available through a new app. Subsequent issues are set to launch every Monday, and include the same content as print editions. Some bonuses in the current iPad issue include a video tour, an animated cover, extra cartoons and a story reading by Sam Lipsyte.
iPad news service may have dedicated app
Apple's rumored iPad news service has garnered more details slip late Friday. The magazine and newspaper service would be distinct from the App Store and similar to but not necessarily a part of iBooks. The company is also said by Bloomberg to be talking to at least four major publishers, including Conde Nast, Hearst, News Corp. and Time Warner.
People for iPad free for physical subs
People today put out its promised iPad magazine app (free, App Store) with the promise of a first for tablet magazines. The entertainment magazine is the first major title to directly acknowledge a paper subscription. An in-app authenticator will give those already subscribed to the paper magazine the option of downloading tablet issues for free as they become available.
New Rolling Stone issue integrates iTunes
Two important magazine issues have made their way to the iPad. The first is the inaugural iPad edition of Glamour, which -- like other electronic editions from publisher Condé Nast -- is enhanced with special extras like video. Some exclusive fashion picks have been added however, and the app encourages consumption by letting people tap on some images to go to a website, where they can buy a product. Condé is not receiving a cut of any of these sales, at least at present.
May be hampering iPad publishing industry
Apple is currently preventing publishers from enabling subscriptions for iPad magazines, say several sources. Time, for example, is claimed to have wanted to put out a subscription version of the Sports Illustrated app last month, in which people would be able download issues via iTunes, but pay Time directly. Apple rejected this at the last minute, Time executives say, even though they had been in touch with Apple during spring development, and been assured that the company was alright with the plan. Time was forced to sell only individual issues.
Wired refines tablet magazine formula
Wired magazine revamped its approach to tablet magazines today with its second, July issue for the iPad (free, App Store). The new version drops the single-issue download approach and adopts the more common in-app strategy; readers can get both future and past issues from the same app. Prospective buyers also no longer have to commit to the full magazine to see how it works, as a smaller 50MB preview is available with the download.
Return subscribers to get second issue for $4
Condé Nast is still open to adapt its business model for future copies of Wired for iPad, according to the company's group president of consumer marketing, Bob Sauerberg. The upcoming issue will sell for $3.99, a dollar savings over the first release which achieved sales of more than 90,000 downloads.
New Yorker to share Wired's iPad mag platform
The New Yorker confirmed late Tuesday that it was working on an iPad magazine app. The new magazine will use the same Adobe Digital Magazine platform that powers the pioneering app for Wired's edition rather than the Conde Nast equivalent being used for other magazines with the publisher. One WWD source justified it as noticeably superior Conde Nast's app, which is designed to translate relatively easily to other platforms.
App to offer social networking features
Condé Nast has announced that its Gourmet magazine will relaunch as an iPad app titled Gourmet Live. The print magazine had survived for nearly seven decades before being shuttered late last year alongside several other Condé Nast publications.
Dev explains massive size of magazine downloads
Adobe and publisher Condé Nast were forced into a relatively clumsy solution in order to get the Wired iPad app past App Store restrictions, says a designer who has taken a close look at the software. The title was originally created using Flash, then cross-compiled for Apple handhelds. When Apple suddenly altered rules to block cross-compiling, however, Adobe switched to a method involving Objective-C and HTML5.
Wired for iPad could challenge print subs
Wired today set a possible benchmark for e-reading after its New York Bureau Chief John Abell revealed that over 24,000 copies of the iPad magazine were sold in just the first 24 hours. The number is a rarity for digital magazines and would have made the Conde Nast magazine $83,832 in one day after Apple collected its royalties. The figure comes even with a large half-gigabyte download and a relatively high $5 price.
Adds interactive extras to paper magazine
After spending months in development, Wired has finally released an iPad edition of its magazine. Currently available is the June issue, which interweaves the print edition's content with iPad-specific extras. These include an interactive map of Mars, as well as assorted videos, slideshows and music clips. The app is a 527MB download, and costs $5.
Sales only expected to pick up in June
The iPad version of GQ has only seen a little over 365 downloads so far, says VP and publisher Pete Hunsinger. All of these are associated with a December 2009 "Men of the Year" issue, though people can now get more recent releases, which may be selling better. At a cost of $2.99 per download, initial app sales are said to have been worth only $1,091.35 plus advertising to GQ publisher Condé Nast, minus Apple's 30 percent cut of app revenue.
Adobe may use native code to clear Wired app
Adobe is rewriting the Wired app for the iPad itself to make sure it can get into the App Store, a leak this weekend may have revealed. Although Conde Nast previously insisted it would keep using Flash to develop the magazine reader in spite of Apple's new ban on cross-compiling tools, AllThingsD now understands Adobe is simply coding the app directly in Objective C. The rework would also have the side benefit of helping other magazines with their own apps.
Only one issue to be ready near launch
Via an internal memo, publisher Condé Nast has announced its first wave of magazines to head to the iPad. The main honors will go to men's magazine GQ, whose April issue should follow around the same time the Wi-Fi-only iPad goes on sale. Vanity Fair and Wired are expected in June; the timing for Glamour and The New Yorker remains nebulous beyond sometime this summer.
Jobs said bowing to pressure to get mags onboard
Apple may be agreeing to give out subscriber info to get magazines in the iBookstore and on the iPad, a rumor on the latest episode of TWiT suggests. Controversial Mahalo head Jason Calacanis heard from a "major publisher" that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has acquiesced to giving out an unspecified amount of customer data after the publisher refused to offer subscription content without circulation info. It's not known if any other publishers put down a similar ultimatum.
Wired for iPad first iPad-ready magazine
Conde Nast's Wired at the TED conference Friday said it would have an iPad-native version of its magazine available by the summer. The demo by Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson of a prototype showed a simple navigation system that would use gestures and the iPad's native features to improve on the experience versus a website. Swipes left and right navigate through individual articles; picking an article and then swiping up or down scrolls through the entire story.
Mag Plus concept made for touch, sharing
Popular Science publisher Bonnier and the design group Berg today showed Mag+, a new magazine concept designed for an expected wave of tablets from Apple and others (video below). The approach would take advantage of both a touchscreen and an Internet connection to provide a more modern experience: articles would be continuous scrolls rather than pages and would need only a swipe to one side to change articles entirely.
Pubs want universal e-text platform
True to a late leak, five major American publishers today cemented plans for a joint venture to promote a universal standard for digital magazines and similar content. Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp and Time expect the unnamed company to develop digital magazines that will be readable on many platforms, including different operating systems and screen sizes, such as computers, smartphones and tablets. The technology will also be designed such that it should scale up to color reading devices with mixed media like animations and video.
Skiff to offer multi-platform digital publishing
Hearst today provided details of a new digital publishing system it hopes will make digital text more widespread. Skiff will have a store as well as an underlying gateway that lets Hearst and other firms both collect ad revenue from all their sources as well as adapt the same book, magazine or newspaper to a variety of formats. A single work could be reformatted to work with an iPhone, dedicated e-book readers or even tablet devices.
Publishers' online mag store due in weeks
A coalition of magazine publishers is getting close to producing a digital storefront of its own that would produce a centralized portal for their titles, a leak hinted late Tuesday. Anonymous sources for the New York Observer claim Condé Nast, Hearst and Time are within weeks of a deal for a store that would offer both digital versions of their publications as well as physical copies. Time executive VP John Squires would leave his company to head up the new venture and is believed to be the originator.
Wired ready for Apple tablet next year
Magazine publisher Condé Nast today revealed that it's taking the unusual step of optimizing its publications with Apple's rumored tablet in mind. The agency doesn't claim to MediaMemo that it's privy to Apple's design but expects Wired, and later its 17 other magazines, to be ready in a format that works with the device by mid-2010. It will allow both actual-size and optimized formats and should include both mixed media and hooks for social networking.
Time changes mind, to release e-book reader
Time Inc. is planning on releasing an e-book reader in order to compete with Amazon's Kindle and other similar devices, according to a leaked internal document from the publisher. A recent NBC report says the magazine publisher will show the device before the end of the year. Time has previously gone on record to say it will not bring out its own e-reader, but has apparently since changed its mind.