Major print publishers confirm collaborative digital store

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Affirming repeated rumors, Condé Nast, Hearst, News Corporation, Time Inc., and Meredith all officially announced Tuesday that they will agree on open standards for a new digital storefront.



The five publishers said the independent venture will "allow consumers to enjoy their favorite media content on portable digital devices." As was reported in November, the consortium will be run in the interim by John Squires, former executive vice president with Time Inc.



"For the consumer, this digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops," said Squires, the interim managing director. "Once purchased, this content will be ‘unlocked’ for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform."



Publishers intend to create a reading application that can render the "distinct look and feel" of specific publications and can be optimized for a number of devices with different operating systems and screen sizes. The plan also includes a consumer storefront with an "extensive selection" of products, and will also allow "innovative advertising opportunities."



While the store will initially include magazines and newspapers, it may expand in the future to books, comic books, blogs and more. Outside publishers, beyond the five equity partners, will also be welcome to offer their content on the unnamed service. Publishers will be able to obtain revenue from subscriptions and advertising sales.



Together, the five companies represent a reading audience of 144.6 million. They hope to gain some of the 10 million readers expected to be sold in the U.S. in 2010, along with 50 million smartphones in the country by the end of next year.



Interestingly, all of the partners in the new digital store have also presented their own, individual plans for digital subscriptions. Hearst has said it will launch a service sometime in 2010, while Time Inc. has been showing off a tablet-friendly magazine concept.



Likely to play a part in these companies' plans is Apple's rumored forthcoming tablet device. Earlier this year, reports claimed that Apple had reached out to publishers about bringing their print publications to the touchscreen device. The new, unannounced hardware is expected to debut in early 2010.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    These guys are smart ... no war of the formats for them! I guess they learned a lot reporting on all the other format wars!



    In other 'visual' news not yet reported here ... Google Goggles for Android. I wonder of Google will create an App for iPhone or will this be the start of withholding their technologies?
  • Reply 2 of 50
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?



    I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.



    Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?
  • Reply 3 of 50
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?



    I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.



    Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?



    If Apple planned a tablet you can bet that they're still going ahead with it.



    For example, everyone is trying to find a way to get their content/services onto the "locked-down model" of Apple's iPhone in the most convenient way possible. It will be the same for the tablet. When the tablet changes the game, watch all these publishers magically rethink their entire strategy. Apple has the power to determine your content's exposure, viewability, and consumer reach. Apple acts as distributor, very simply, because they provide the best model for consumers to access content. If you don't play nicely with Apple and Apple products you're only harming your chances.



    As long as Apple products (read: devices on which to view media/content) and services continue to lead by a landslide in desirability and ease of use, opposing Apple is not a good idea.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    benicebenice Posts: 382member
    This reads like these guys are really committed to controlling the storefront, more than anything else. I think the idea of common standards is a good one, but they never really controlled distribution before (newsagents and intermediarys do that) so it's a fair shift in that direction.



    As much as anything, Apple probably assumed that everything from music to magazines can be dumped in iTunes (or whatever the browser equivalent might be called) and this sounds like it might scuttle those plans a fair bit.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    ... Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?



    No. this is a pre-emptive strike. If anything it completely supports the idea that Apple is about to enter the market. All this means is that after years and years of people being caught flat-footed by Apple, someone has finally wised up and tried to strike first.



    If Apple comes out with the tablet and it works or is popular, then they own the distribution channel. It would be as if Apple currently owned most of the magazine and newspaper stands and routes all across the country. That means they'd have a say about what is sold but more importantly the price and the general format.



    These guys are hoping that they can define the format and the distribution and the price first before Apple beats them to it. Without a device of their own though I don't think they will have much luck. If the tablet is a success, they will still have to come to Apple in the end.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    intenseintense Posts: 106member
    I'd be nice for the product to be released for trial and then the potential users can give their feedback ... wouldn't that reduce the financial risk involved with producing a new product .. no ?
  • Reply 7 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by benice View Post


    As much as anything, Apple probably assumed that everything from music to magazines can be dumped in iTunes...and this sounds like it might scuttle those plans a fair bit.



    yeah, definitely a pre-emptive strike. I'm curious to see if their content will be "exclusively available" through their storefront - ie, are they willing to distribute through iTunes as well? We shall see.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?



    I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.



    Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?



    Huh? I would have thought Apple is right in there. Ultimately these guys want to sell content and if Apple can help them do that, then they will want to ensure the format works nicely on the iPhone and on the alleged tablet. Likewise, Apple needs content and I don't see why Apple would want to care about DRM if the content providers don't. All apple want is to have the sexiest device to view the content on so they can sell lots of them. I don't see why Apple wouldn't enter the market now. I imagine that Apple has been instrumental in shaping this new platform.
  • Reply 9 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Good for them, good for consumers...



    You started off good...



    Quote:

    ...back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?



    I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.



    ?then you got all anti-Apple, as if they are the problem that print media is failing.



    Quote:

    Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?



    Did you miss the quoted text stating, "Once purchased, this content will be ?unlocked? for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform.?? I?d say this encourages Apple even more, not tells them to trash the R&D on a product. If you look at the iTunes LP and Extras you see Apple moving toward open-standards for their rich media. This falls in line with what these media companies supposedly want. We?ll have to see what they have in mind but to be completely cross platform and open it?ll have to be something like HTML/CSS/JS or PDF format.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    If Apple planned a tablet you can bet that they're still going ahead with it.



    For example, everyone is trying to find a way to get their content/services onto the "locked-down model" of Apple's iPhone in the most convenient way possible. It will be the same for the tablet. When the tablet changes the game, watch all these publishers magically rethink their entire strategy. Apple has the power to determine your content's exposure, viewability, and consumer reach. Apple acts as distributor, very simply, because they provide the best model for consumers to access content. If you don't play nicely with Apple and Apple products you're only harming your chances.



    As long as Apple products (read: devices on which to view media/content) and services continue to lead by a landslide in desirability and ease of use, opposing Apple is not a good idea.



    Having a general release media subscription service doesn?t negate the possibility for a richer, potentially more expensive service that is designed for more robust devices, like an Apple Tablet or notebook. What can work on a smartphone may not be a great experience on a Tablet so I may want to pay more for a better experience. If they have to cater to the least common denominator they find that their product is less than adequate. I really hope they are using HCJ (HTML/CSS/JS) for their model, have a standardized WYSIWYG development app and have worked with HW makers, like Apple, to make sure it doesn?t fail.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Just what the world has been waiting for--a digital store selling books and magazines. How innovative!
  • Reply 11 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?



    I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.



    Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?



    Congrats on showing everyone what a moron you are.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    What are these 'open standards' mentioned in the first sentence?



    Any details?
  • Reply 13 of 50
    mj webmj web Posts: 918member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?



    I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.



    Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?



    Apple supplied the the technology, know-how, and concept. The publishers are in cahoots with Apple. This isn't a preemptive strike, it's a Beta Test.
  • Reply 14 of 50
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Good for them, good for consumers, back to the (ahem) drawing board for the presumably proprietary Apple Tablet?



    I am very glad they beat Apple to the open-platform, no DRM punch.



    Will Apple even enter the market now? Will they try to impose their locked-down model in a world of competition? Is the world moving faster than Apple?



    What do you mean? "Will Apple even enter the market now?" Apple sells sells content, so why would they not sell digital magazines if a standard format is created (assuming they are planning on selling them)? The only question is whether or not Apple will choose to distribute digital magazines in this format or not. Apple does not need DRM on the content they sell and it is typically imposed on them by the content providers (see music/movies). If magazines don't want DRM, you probably wont see it on whatever Apple distributes either.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    Over the years, Apple has attempted to create open standards (aka Quicktime, h.264, HTML 5) as opposed to create closed ones. The main reason DRM was in iTunes originally was because the Music Labels required it. Apple has been talking to these publishers for months, and I don't think this adoption is any coincidence. Microsoft tries to hinder open standards (look at Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, etc.) and block innovation. I bet the format is ultimately of Apple's choosing - which they've presented to the publishers - and is thereby perfectly suited for the upcoming Apple tablet. I may be wrong about the format being Apple's own, but I bet they at least had a large inluence in directing which one was chosen.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    Shrugs.



    It doesn't matter what they do. Paper is taking a beating. Books, comics, newspapers...do any of them sell as much as they used to?



    Certainly the newspapers arent' the force they used to be in sales. Why would they be with free online editions?



    CD sales? Well, well iTunes is no.1 digital downloads has nailed 'cd's' future to the wall.



    £600-800 is going to be alot of money for an e reader. And if the publishers, who've been charging alot of money for regurgitated content for years...think they're going to charge me £5 per issue the same as the paper edition...then they're got another thing coming.



    So I guess it's going to be a true multimedia device with an e-reader as one of many strings to its bow.



    If Apple sells a gazillion of these 'slates' then the publishers will break rank...crack and offer editions on the itunes store. I don't see them passing up the dough. They need the money.



    I'm very surprised sellers of 1s and 0s...still think they can get away with charging the price close to physical media. 200 million people on the internet or more...and scales of economy set to rise in the future. And guess what. They still can't offer a song for 10p or a small amount of money and leverage the economies of scale. I'd actually bother to register an itunes account.



    For me, alot of music, tv programs, magazine content is not compelling enough to pay near physical media prices to 'sit on my hard drive' most of the time doing nothing. And I feel that way about physical media. It has to be good to clutter my house space up with it.



    For me, unlike a virtual song replacing a 'whirrrrring' cd in my iMac...I just don't see I'm going to have the same emotional rapport with a 'good book' on an e reader as I do the tactile bond I have with a real book.



    Maybe I won't think that way in ten years time. But I feel like that now.



    I still think the Apple i-slate is going to be a hit. Because it won't be used soley for the e-reading (read saviour) it'll be a big iPod touch that you can casually and comfortable use on your living room sofa.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    It's the smell of a comic book, the staples...the physical turning of a page. It's been a while since I've read any comic books. But I remember how it used to feel...



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    Over the years, Apple has attempted to create open standards (aka Quicktime, h.264, HTML 5) as opposed to create closed ones.



    Please do not confuse 'create' with 'adopt'. Apple may have had some input into H.264, HTML5, etc., (Quicktime is not an open standard) and advocated their use, but don't overreach and say that they created those technologies.



    (And to be precise, H.264 may be a 'standard', but it is not 'open'.)
  • Reply 19 of 50
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    The main reason DRM was in iTunes originally was because the Music Labels required it. Apple has been talking to these publishers for months, and I don't think this adoption is any coincidence.



    That is a good point that is often overlooked by the myopic trolls on these forums. Jobs issued an open letter to the labels nearly 3 years ago to remove DRM, before the labels tried to over-through iTunes by partnering with Amazon. One label?s CEO even scoffed at the idea calling it absurd to even consider.



    With the publishers is such a bad state of affairs I don?t think it?s too extreme to think that they have been highly influenced by Apple by their open platform and distribution method of published media.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    No. this is a pre-emptive strike. If anything it completely supports the idea that Apple is about to enter the market. All this means is that after years and years of people being caught flat-footed by Apple, someone has finally wised up and tried to strike first.



    Well, they announced something before Apple released something. I can't imagine that this design-by-committee project of the five publishing (not software development) companies will beat Apple to market, or that it will be very good when it finally is unveiled. It will be fun to watch events unfold.
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