There are devices that can do it all, at least in the eyes of the consumer, and then there are devices that fail to live up to the expectations of the people who are investing the serious money behind the product, the publishers.
Conde Nast, publisher of such magazines in the fashion, technology, food and travel sector as Wired, Vogue, Brides, and GQ, just to name a few of its powerhouses of the print magazine market, recently decided to stall many more of its titles from being available to iPad based on sluggish response from subscribers and the fact that there was no mechanism in place to provide important data to its advertisers.
Combined with Apple’s per subscription charge of 30%, a fairly standard fee when it comes to e-formatting self-published blogs with one thousand followers as opposed to worldwide magazines with millions of subscribers, Conde Nast is slowing its efforts to bring more of its print titles to iPad.
Conde Nast is still in title production with iPad, but is taking a small step back for now. One of those steps is to not allow subscriptions of some its magazines on iPad, meaning its readers will pay a per-issue purchase price that at times can rival the newsstand price. Commentators on various sites reporting this development had some harsh criticism for both iPad and Conde Nast, maintaining that the cost of an app version of many magazines, not just those published by Conde Nast, cost the reader far more than the print version over the cost of a year and that print subscribers are denied access to app versions.
Not all publishers are less than confident when it comes to how their titles are faring on the current tablet app market. Bloomberg Business Week has redesigned its print issues and reformatted it to be available for free on iPad to all of its print subscribers, and has kept the tablet-only subscription price to a full two-dollars less than the newsstand price, a move that is sure to win over some faithful readers of other competing titles. A new tablet app-specific newspaper has also launched solely for iPad, The Daily, which will publish every morning but update as needed throughout the day. The Daily will maintain a relationship with advertisers who can adapt to its format, so this publication is changing how its ads are developed for iPad to avoid any of the concerns from advertisers who are used to traditional publishing.
In order to keep both the advertisers and the subscribers happy, publishers are going to have to meet the demand for convenient access to their magazines at a reasonable and competitive price while providing vital feedback on how subscribers are responding to advertising dollars.