Weaker-than-expected sales prompt Conde Nast to slow iPad magazine launches

“Conde Nast is tapping the brakes on its drive to deliver iPad editions of all its magazines, according to company employees, acknowledging that conditions aren’t quite right yet to deliver the ideal app editions at the kind of scale that advertisers want,” Nat Ives reports for AdAge.

“That hardly means Conde is done with the iPad. It remains committed to creating iPad editions for its titles, with an undisclosed one planned to arrive in May,” Ives reports. “But Conde Nast enthusiastically planned for the iPad even before the device was out, telling employees in February 2010 that it would introduce iPad editions of Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Glamour. Since then Golf Digest, Self and Allure have followed.”

Ives reports, “Conde titles without iPad editions include W — whose app edition had originally been expected in February — Vogue, Teen Vogue, Details, Architectural Digest, Brides, Lucky, Golf World, Bon Appetit and Conde Nast Traveler. Many of these titles are now eyeing releases in the third quarter, the fourth quarter or even early 2012.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s the pricing, stupid. When you magazine publishers get it right (plus turn on subscriptions instead of trying to peddle individual issues and include everything (at least) that’s in the print issue in the iPad edition) then you’ll find rapidly improving conditions. Until then, you will continue to flounder. In such a situation, deciding to tread water does nothing but delay the inevitable.

[Attribution: AppleInsider. Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “James W.” for the heads up.]


  1. The best magazine experience I’ve had so far is National Geographic via Zinio. Last issue they redesigned the cover to be an ipad-specific fullscreen spread, and their interactive content is great, if buggy at times.

    1. I’d have to agree, zinio is probably the best so far. It’s not perfect, but it’s good.

      Can’t remember if it’s mac life or macworld that has print and digital for 1 price, the other has them separate costs.
      The ones that charge as much for digital as print…. Bad idea. Combine or lower price and you’ll get more subs.

    2. Many of the industrial pubs I do business with use zinio for their digital versions. Zinio has been the go-to platform for digital distribution of a lot of tradition print mags for years and a lot more experience than most publishers. They have a real opportunity here to bring a nice turnkey iPad solution to publishers. I haven’t looked a zinio pub lately, nor do I yet have an iPad, but do any of zinio pubs you’ve looked include rich media?

      1. NatGeo does. They embed videos in stories and have interactive graphics for their charts and drawings, so you can, for instance, click on the manatee in the drawing and get info on the animal, click on the starfish for info on it, and click on some icon to see an animation of their life-cycles. It’s very well done, my only complaint is that it can be a little clunky and stuttery, but the iPad 2 probably handles it a lot better.

  2. Its not just the price. The current ipad issue of Wired is free thanks to Adobe, but still not worth the download (350 mb!! are they serious! — hello, look at Flipboard). You have print designers using print tools (Adobe InDesign) to create an ipad version of a magazine that is easily over 50% ads. And Wired’s content in print isn’t that strong to begin with. No, its far far more than just the price

    1. Gotta agree! If these ‘traditional” magazines only goal in getting to the iPad is to shackle us with HUGE advertisements then they’re going to fail. Simple as that! I can get ALL the news AND pretty pictures for FREE elsewhere. Great opportunity now for a startup media company with NO FAT.

  3. MDN got it right. Pricing…pricing…pricing.

    Typical of these established print media organizations to enter a new, innovative realm with old-model business practices. Is it any wonder they quickly run into their self-induced wall of failure?

  4. Money was never issue. Conde Nast who publish Wired magazine basically screw me out of my money. Had bought four issues loyally on the iPad, they did an update on the and my first issue went missing. What made remember the first issue on the iPad was the fact that it was $4.99 and them they drop the price on the remaining issue by a $1. Contact Apple who told me to contact Wired Magazine which did not in anyway resolve the problem . After that I just stop buying the magazine both online and the print version. Their excuse that the conditions is not right is such a crock
    of s**t . Apple has set up a good, if not great model and these f**kheads are screwing it up with piss poor service.

    1. I am impressed that you were reading. In going over your missive, I could make sense of it even though some words seem to be missing and it may lack some punctuation.

      June is approaching quickly and I hope you can graduate to grade four.

  5. I am very happy with my The Economist and Bloomberg Businessweek for iPad, and believe I won’t go back for the paper version as far as purchasing is concerned.

    Wired? For some reason, the editorial is less inspiring than it used to be. May be that’s also why they are not selling good on iPad?

    1. D’accord. While the Economist doesn’t have a flashy interface, it is a solid app. However, the content is what sells me on it. I don’t always agree with their analysis, but it’s actually written for people who think, unlike most others. And Conde Nast is a queen of drivel. Just look at that list above: GQ, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Self, Allure, W, Vogue, Teen Vogue, …

  6. size matters. @norm is correct. 350-600 mb for what is basically a port of the print issue is lame. And those multimedia elements? Ugh. Stop being so heavy handed, designers.

    I love the Spin Magzine app. Great for music discovery. $2 issue or $8 for a year. Each issue is about 60-80 mb, no ads that I can recall, and the issue includes audio and video that is relevant to the artists.

    Also, I think the new Bloomberg Businessweek app is similar. Lean, mean, and worth it.

  7. This is a new area for publishers. They have to figure out that their traditional print magazine will not work for the iPad. They have to adapt and change their format, both so that it is more interactive and so that it isn’t just an electronic version of the magazine. With reasonable subscriptions and smart ad placement (not just “as many as we can sell” ad placement), a publisher should be able to me even more profitable than it was when it had to print and mail issues around.

  8. 1- There’s already an app for that. It’s called Zinio, using DRM protected PDFs. We don’t want apps for each magazine.
    2- The price is too high. No ink, paper and minimal distro costs. Same high price for a one time read.

  9. They have to make some kind of major value-added contribution, otherwise, YES, it is just content you could have free elsewhere made hard-to-navigate by some silly proprietary GUI.

    I’m sorry, I love iPad, and the tablet revolution, but I was sickened by using the Daily app.

    Some happy medium between apps and free search engines needs to be found.

    Note that I also dislike iFlip or whatever it is called. All eye candy and irritating eye candy at that.

  10. Yeah I agree with everyone on price and file size. I’d also say it might not hurt to have a “Magazine rack” icon as one of the permanent icons in the iPad Dock. I have some mag subs through Zinio and I just honestly forget to read them. Plus it would signal that Apple is serious about iPad as a periodicals platform.

    Put a magazine icon down there like email with a red notification badge and that would help me remember.

  11. Price yes but with magazines I give them to friends when I’m done. You should be able to email used magazine x 3 or 5 times. In a doctors office or barber shop many people view the same magazine. New
    Media should adapt. There is little extra cost, just lost revenue. Someone who reads a emailed copy may end up being a customer.


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