Conde Nast Slows iPad Edition Releases
Curbs digital mag issues, continues in other app development.
Conde Nast has noted that the iPad ready issues of their titles may not be doing as well as they (and every other publisher who ran to the “gold mine” of digital publishing) had planned.
As a result, Conde Nast has decided to slow the production of new digital issues for the iPad, according to Ad Age. With current titles Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Glamour, Golf Digest, Self and Allure already available through the Apple platform, Conde Nast will not be releasing any other new digital titles in the immediate future.
One Conde publisher says, “It’s a shift. The official stance was we’re going to get all our magazines on the iPad because this is going to be such an important stream. The new change is maybe we can slow it down. In my opinion it makes Conde look smart because we have the ambition, but we’re not rushing.”
Other apps have been introduced from Conde Nast representing magazines whose full-fledged editions haven’t made it to the iPad yet. The Vogue Exclusive app, available for $.99, features content that expands on coverage provided by the magazine as well as exclusives (such as video and audio) available only through the app. The latest edition of the app was released last week, and its focus is centered on the upcoming Costume Gala held at the Met.
Individual titles are utilizing different ways to promote their iPad offerings. WIRED Magazine has launched a free copy download for their May issue, commemorating the anniversary of their arrival on the iPad.
Howard Mittman, VP and publisher of WIRED, told FOLIO:, “Fortunately, we’ve hit more balls then we’ve missed, and we’ve done it in a very public space, but it’s been a wonderful experiment for us, for our readers and our advertisers, and the experience we’ve gotten cumulatively is astounding.”
Mittman notes that he and his team have begun to understand what comes “instinctually” with the print issue of the magazine. Some of this includes seasonality and cover choices. Mittman also says the interactive elements of the digital edition has proven a learning experience, and the WIRED team is only now beginning to understand “what’s complimentary and what’s disruptive, in good and bad ways for the consumer experience, both in the edit side and the ad side.”
Just as publishers attempt to build their forums in the social media sphere, they are also realizing that community may be one of the major components to getting users to come back to digital editions beyond trial offers. Mittman says, “Our editors and our publishing side staff are constantly replying to tweets, posting messages and thoughts in the iTunes store itself, and allowing a forum for our community members to speak to us and get replies back.”
Like the phrases that have shifted over the e-media age (from “audience/readers” to “users”), the way publishers (in both editorial and advertising) interact with consumers seem as if it will have to morph as well.