Publisher misses December goal
Subscribers to the tablet editions of Hearst Magazines publications have finally broken past the 1 million mark, says company head David Carey. The executive at one point said the company would have 1 million subscribers by the end of 2012, but ended up with a figure closer to 900,000. "I’m glad we got there," Carey remarks. "We were just 90 days late."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ad space said to be limited, expensive
Publisher Hearst has brought Oprah Magazine to the iPad. Although no subscription options are available due to a lack of Apple support, each issue costs $4, slightly less than an equivalent print edition. Enhancements include videos, sharing features and a bookstore, the latter of which lets people read samples and buy e-books, which are read outside of the Oprah app.
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.
Includes pay barrier, altered content
Several months after revealing plans, publisher Hearst has finally launched the iPad version of its men's magazine, Esquire. The inaugural issue is enhanced in several ways, like other high-profile magazines converted to the iPad format; the cover appears out of a video of feature subject Javier Bardem for instance, and interactive elements let people examine things like the construction of the new World Trade Center complex. Some other touches include animated illustrations, and a complete copy of Ivan Turgenev's First Love.
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.
Hearst described as sympathetic
At least one company is willing to sell subscriptions through an iPad newsstand, Apple is allegedly telling publishers. The information comes by way of an anonymous source, who suggests that Apple is using the claim to lure more content providers in. Other sources add that Hearst -- parent of magazines like Esquire, and newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle -- has been more accommodating to Apple's plans than other major publishers.
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.
News Corp could commit whole group to tablets
News Corp could soon start up a division dedicated solely to publishing on the iPad and other tablets, insiders said Friday. The company will decide whether or not to move ahead by the fall and would produce content specific to tablets rather than simply reprint magazine and newspaper material. FT contacts understood that the group would get all-new staff and would only borrow the resources, not the articles, from established print publications.
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.
Hearst Skiff previewed ahead of CES
Publisher Hearst today provided firmer details of the Skiff Reader, its self-produced e-book device. The new model is one of the largest e-book readers ever at 11.5 inches and provides a 1200x1600 touchscreen display better suited to magazines and newspapers. Its use of e-paper is equally new: rather than glass, it uses an LG-made flexible steel foil that resists shattering.
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.
WSJ mobile to go to pay system
The Wall Street Journal will start asking those using the mobile version of its news to pay for the privilege, newspaper owner and News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch warned today. Although the company currently offers its phone-optimized version for free, a new plan launching within "one to two months" will ask non-subscribers to any WSJ edition to pay $2 per week for mobile access. Those who pay for either the online or print editions will have the rate cut in half, and only those who subscribe to both will get the mobile format for free.
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.
Seattile PI All Digital
Hearst on Monday said the Seattle Post-Intelligencer would become the largest newspaper ever to move to an online-only format. The move leaves the Tuesday issue as the last paper copy and ends the 146-year history of the physical edition. Its owners describe the shift as the result of "extremely difficult circumstances" for the company's finances and after unsuccessfully trying to sell the Post-Intelligencer to another company since January 9th.
Hearst e-book reader
Hearst is in the middle of developing its own e-book reader, claim industry sources cited by Fortune. The publishing monolith is said to be interested in producing a reader mainly as a way of offsetting the costs of ink, printing and delivery, which can no longer be compensated for through ad and subscription revenue. Sources say that the reader will be sold to other publishers, who in turn will have to share revenue from magazines and newspapers crated under the Hearst banner, such as Esquire and the San Francisco Chronicle.