updated 09:50 am EST, Mon March 1, 2010
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.
Titles were chosen because of their broad representation, notes Condé Nast's editorial director, Thomas Wallace. "GQ is men. Glamour is women. Vanity Fair is a dual audience. The New Yorker is unique with its periodicity, and therefore it's also more news- or text-heavy, and it's a slightly older audience," says Wallace. Only Wired however is being developed in partnership with Adobe, the latter party helping with an early version of its Packager for iPhone development tool.
More complex is the financial situation, as the debut magazines are meant to test prices, designs and advertising formats in an experiment running through to the fall. A key problem, a result of iTunes-based distribution, is a lack of reader data that will make marketing harder. Condé says it intends to compensate by forcing readers to register for some content access.
Whether or not other magazines will be ported to the iPad is dependent on the success of the experiment. "If we are happy with the results that we get, we'll be ready to go in the fall," adds Wallace. The publisher already offers a GQ iPhone app, but sales have merely helped those on the print side. Just under 7,000 copies of the December iPhone issue were sold, and the number rose to 15,000 in January.