updated 01:45 pm EDT, Mon September 27, 2010
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.
Adobe is reported to have helped development. All print advertisers are said to be on board, though some groups have paid for "premium" spots with videos and slideshows. These include Intel, Visa, HSBC, American Express and the Mexican tourism board.
Later upgrades are expected to incorporate resizable fonts, access to story archives and the ability to share pieces or mark them as favorites. While the app itself is free, each issue is a $4.99 download. Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg argues that the future of the app and others like it is dependent on subscription support. "Obviously, we don't have that in place for the moment with Apple," says the executive. "We are very keen to do that."
New Yorker editor David Remnick suggests that the magazine could sell a workaround subscription that includes both print and digital copies, but Apple is already believed to be working on formal support for digital-only subscriptions. When the option might arrive is uncertain, although another publisher, Hearst, claims that "there's progress being made" in negotiations with Apple management. Subscriptions could be timed to arrive in tandem with a new iPad, expected by early next year.