Print industry collaborates for “Hulu for magazines”

Print ain't dead.The magazine industry has finally announced what people have speculated for months now: several publishers will collaborate to introduce a digital format for existing print magazines. The project includes Time Warner, Hearst, Meredith, Condé Nast, and News Corp. and will exist as its own entity, replete with a full corporate infrastructure, including a new CEO.

The most glaring problem with this plan is distribution. The unnamed venture hopes to control publishing, something neither Amazon or Apple can possibly like. This new venture has to keep both those companies in mind as it’s their devices this media will release to.

And then there’s the issue of value. Are people really going to pay for this kind of content? I’d say it’s doubtful at best, and the odds go down if it can’t be tied into an existing Amazon or iTunes account. I’d say the target for this sort of project already has their online subscriptions to sites that offer high value per dollar. Can the same be said for a digital version of Condé Nast Travel? I don’t think so.

Source: All Things D

App Review: Best of Cycle World

best-of-cw-appI’ve got another app review for you today, this time from Cycle World (which is published under Hachette Filipacchi Media along with Car and Driver). The app, appropriately named “Best of Cycle World,” can be picked up from the App Store for free.

Before installing the app I read a few users reviews complaining about the update schedule and limited content. I would wholeheartedly agree if the app was billed as digital magazine, but it’s not. It’s a companion to a subscription magazine and should be considered as such. Bearing that in mind, I think the app is a great way to carry CW content in your pocket.

The app works like a content-rich RSS feed for the magazine’s best articles. It’s a simple list that links to individual articles, all of which have a picture gallery. While the content is decent, a few simple updates could improve the app. I’d recommend a system by which the reader can see what’s been read and what hasn’t. Also, adding a picture count (1 of 8, etc.) to the galleries would be a small improvement.

Overall, can’t complain much about free content. If nothing else, it saves you the embarrassment of carrying a magazine into the bathroom while your girlfriend’s over. That is, if you still care about that sort of thing.