Magazine Publishers Teaming Up for Digital Publishing

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The New York Observer reports that a number of major magazine publishers are nearing an agreement to launch a joint venture that would be focused on digital distribution of their content, aiming to create a digital storefront similar to Apple's iTunes Store.
The company would make up one of the biggest alliances among rival publishers ever formed in print media, with Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst all expected to join, houses that together publish more than 50 magazines, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and O, The Oprah Magazine.
A report from early last month noted that such a plan for an industry-wide digital storefront was in the works in order to prepare for the probable launch of Apple's much-rumored tablet device in the relatively near future. Today's report, however, goes beyond the previous claims, pointing to the creation of a separate company headed by John Squires, an executive vice president at Time, to manage the distribution of digital content for a wide array of devices, as well as offering standard print media.
The company will prepare magazines that can work across multiple digital platforms, whether the iPhone, the BlackBerry or countless other digital devices. The company will not develop an e-book, but create something that people familiar with the plans compare to iTunes -- a store where you can buy new and distinct iterations of The New Yorker or Time. Print magazines will also be for sale.
A deal has not yet been finalized, but an announcement may be made "within weeks" and may include additional publishers beyond Time, Condé Nast and Hearst.

Article Link: Magazine Publishers Teaming Up for Digital Publishing
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,461
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Sunny, Southern California
I was wondering what was taking the magazine business so long to jump on the digital bandwagon. Sure you can go to their sites and read some of the articles but a full on magazine via the web. This could be interesting. Especially if they are all in one location!

What would be cool is if they could be linked via itunes and have the delivered to your computer etc.... Just an idea. Of course if they have some other way of doing it with their third party software that would be nice too.
 
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talkingfuture

macrumors 65816
Dec 4, 2008
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The back of beyond.
This is the sort of thing that the movie and tv industries should have done after seeing iTunes dominate music.

I like the sound of this idea, I'm very likely to choose the Apple tablet as my eReader but it will be good if I can go to a store front like this to get content that works with other devices.
 
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zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
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I can't help but feel a bit cynical about the attempt of these publishers pulling off a "store" that truly feels integrated with a number of devices. I am open to a standardized format, but for an Apple device, it would just feel more natural to purchase via a built in "store." Perhaps several modes of distribution of the same content will be available, but that's not what it sounds like they're going for. I'm imagining some type of web based "store."
 
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flooce

macrumors member
Jan 19, 2009
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The next industry to be revolutionized in the way of distribution. No surprise every content producing industry will need to adept to new ways of distribution and find business models to still earn money from it. I am concerned about quality content though, quality journalism for example, I hope it won't go down...
 
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mac jones

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2006
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One way to get rid of employees

Promote them to the Apple tablet, content division.
 
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rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,461
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Sunny, Southern California
The next industry to be revolutionized in the way of distribution. No surprise every content producing industry will need to adept to new ways of distribution and find business models to still earn money from it. I am concerned about quality content though, quality journalism for example, I hope it won't go down...
I don't think the quality of the journalism will go down. They will just be writing for a new format. Nothing really on their end should change.
 
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zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
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The next industry to be revolutionized in the way of distribution. No surprise every content producing industry will need to adept to new ways of distribution and find business models to still earn money from it. I am concerned about quality content though, quality journalism for example, I hope it won't go down...
Not only quality of content, but quality of innovation. PDFs, or whatever standard these publishers are going for, is fine, but it's nothing groundbreaking. So far, only the interactive digital version of "Wired" looks like anything interesting.

This sentence is disconcerting to me.

The company will not develop an e-book, but create something that people familiar with the plans compare to iTunes -- a store where you can buy new and distinct iterations of The New Yorker or Time.
It points to a lack of an innovative product, in my mind. Why (how?) would you compare an e-book to iTunes? e-book = a PDF; iTunes = digital storefront.

The company will not develop a type of file, but create a store. What does that mean? My cynicism is warning me that they've got nothing groundbreaking.
 
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ipoppy

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2006
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UK
Guess apple got beat to it this time. There loss. They need to get on the ball with their tablet and whatnot.
My thoughts exactly. S Jobs didn't expect that move, or he expected but it was unlikely for them to create some sort of alliance. Thats why Apple was approaching them on 1 by 1 basis. Never worked but I am sure they are still up for that game tho. But this time, unfortunately for Apple, they wont be so easily rip off by Steve. I wonder what's he got up his sleeve now anyway
 
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cmcconkey

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2005
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5
Rocky Face, GA
I work in the newspaper industry, for CNHI, and we have been doing a major push to digital. But with all the downsizing that has been going on we have not been able to do the major push we have wanted, corporate wide. I however have gotten my location, a 13,000 circulation daily in Georgia, over to a very nice digital edition for our paper and magazines. This company is also working toward a way to get into either the iTunes Store or create a store for their customers.

We have gotten quite a few subscribers from this digital push but I don't see a major digital subscriber jump for another 8-10 years, at least in my corporation's core subscribers. With the locations in my company being community newspapers that by no means have massive circulation that others do (AJC, USA Today etc) we still have a lot of 50+ readers that steer clear of portable devices that will easily handle these digital editions.


Christopher

Some Examples of our digital edition. These are flash based so they are not iPhone friendly.

Dalton Magazine
Calhoun Magazine
 
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sishaw

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2005
1,147
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I am open to a standardized format, but for an Apple device, it would just feel more natural to purchase via a built in "store." Perhaps several modes of distribution of the same content will be available, but that's not what it sounds like they're going for. I'm imagining some type of web based "store."
Um...shockingly, this store may not be designed for an Apple device. I know that's a hard pill to swallow here.
 
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sishaw

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2005
1,147
19
Guess apple got beat to it this time. There loss. They need to get on the ball with their tablet and whatnot.
Their loss. Possessive. The loss that pertains to Apple. Seriously, how hard is it?
 
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stagi

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2006
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Good to see that other industries are finally looking towards digital as an alternative not a evil.
 
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SydneyDev

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2008
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I don't think the quality of the journalism will go down. They will just be writing for a new format. Nothing really on their end should change.
He may have been thinking that as the cost of distribution goes down, more people can afford to publish.
 
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mytdave

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2002
587
755
no DRM, no proprietary

If the content is DRM encumbered, you can count me out. It better use a platform agnostic format. PDF or HTML based.

Now Zinio has a cool reader - looks exactly like the print publications, it's awesome, unfortunately it's proprietary, and I don't think it would work well in a mobile format (3.5" screens)... but if they could do something similar in multi-format, and have it completely open, and DRM free...
 
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