Rolling Stone co-founder slams publishers for embracing Apple's iPad

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  • Reply 61 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Following a wave of magazines embracing Apple's in-app subscription plans, the co-founder of Rolling Stone has gone against the grain and categorized the industry's move as "sheer insanity and insecurity and fear."



    Jann Wenner, owner of Wenner Media, said in an interview with Advertising Age that magazine publishers are "crazy" to embrace the iPad. He said current products available on Apple's tablet are selling just a few thousand copies, a revenue stream that's not enough to compensate for money lost in research in development.



    "They're going to get less money for it from advertisers," he said. "Right now it costs a fortune to convert your magazine, to program it, to get all the things you have to do on there. And they're not selling."



    Wenner believes it will take decades before magazines on tablet-style devices like the iPad will take off, noting that sales of physical CDs are still a popular form of music even as Apple's iTunes offers more convenience and flexibility.



    "I think that they're prematurely rushing and showing a little confidence and faith in what they've really got, their real asset, which is the magazine itself, which is still a great commodity," he reportedly said. "It's a small additive; it's not the new business."







    Wenner Media publishes Rolling Stone, as well as Us Weekly and Men's Journal. Wenner said that users can get copies of magazines through Zinio or their official websites.



    He said he wouldn't be interested in brokering a deal with Apple, because the iPad maker would "mortgage [him] into the future on the basis of getting 2,000 copies sold a month." He said even a success story like Popular Science sold only 16,000 subscriptions, well less than its 1.2 million print subscriptions.



    "Their story is simple," Wenner said of Apple. "They want to go knock off the weakest of the big guys and then use that as a lever. They were having no success with Time Inc., because they weren't going to give, so they went to Hearst. And really Hearst has just given then a couple of titles."



    Early this month, it was revealed that Hearst Corp had reached a deal with Apple to begin providing content on the iPad via Apple's in-app subscription plan, in which Apple takes a 30 percent cut of all transactions. STarting in July, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, and O, The Oprah Magazine will be available with in-app subscriptions for $19.99 per year.



    Around the same time, Time also reached a deal with Apple, but only to allow print subscribers free access to issues of their magazines on the iPad. The publisher's magazines, including Sports Illustrated, Time, and Fortune support subscriber authentication, but Time and other major publishers have not yet reached a deal for selling digital subscriptions for iPad editions of their magazines.



    However, unlike Time, publishing giant Condé Nast did agree to allow subscriptions on the iPad through Apple's recurring in-app subscription service. The feature has been added to a number of its publications, including The New Yorker, Wired, Golf Digest, Glamour, Vanity Fair, Self, Allure, and GQ.



    In further Developments Edwin Methusalah from the Wax cylinder manufacturers association echoed Wenners' statements "I have no idea why record companies continue to embrace unproven "Compact Disc" technology; its purely insanity not to support Wax Cyclinders; Compact Discs still have not proven themselves and thousands of Wax Cyclinder players have been produced over the last hundred years.
  • Reply 62 of 156
    whiterabbitwhiterabbit Posts: 208member
    How much does it cost to print and mail a copy of a magazine? Is that really less than 30%. I don't know much about the printing business, but it's not free. I just can't imagine that 30% is all that ridiculous.
  • Reply 63 of 156
    nobodyynobodyy Posts: 377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post


    This dude apparently did too much LSD in the 60's and fried his brain.



    Just so you know, LSD doesn't have any effect on your brain chemistry or function, it's one of the most nontoxic substances in the world



    But he crazy, IMO.
  • Reply 64 of 156
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,685member
    The ROI is there. The costs of developing an iPad app are probably less than one large printing machine. Get new subscribers, or convert print subscribers to digital subs and the rest is free money, minus the Apple tax.
  • Reply 65 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mode View Post


    Trees are organic, good for the environment, necessary biomatter for landfills and most importantly - a renewable resource.

    iPads and other electronics are the exact opposite. They are toxic, made with plastics, and engineered to be thrown away after an extremely short period of time. They clog landfills and the amount of waste is horrendous.



    Not that Paper is much better there; Paper Magazines don't last long, they overwelm landfills and the sheer amount of paper sent for recycling results in a situation where many cities no longer accept certain paper products because they have to pay people to use the recycled paper - its worthless.
  • Reply 66 of 156
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    "physical CDs are still a popular form of music?



    Not a great argument! Yes, they are... but not AS popular as iTunes. Which hasn?t been out for nearly the ?decades? he predicts will be needed for iPad content to take off.



    He can argue that the paper-printed word still has a place. True, it does. He can?t effectively argue that the portable version doesn?t also have a place.
  • Reply 67 of 156
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WhiteRabbit View Post


    How much does it cost to print and mail a copy of a magazine? Is that really less than 30%. I don't know much about the printing business, but it's not free. I just can't imagine that 30% is all that ridiculous.



    It's not just about the direct cost for the publisher it's what they can sell it for to distributors. I can see why Rolling Stone et al. would myopically be afraid of digital media but they should welcome it as the webpages are making them obsolete and digital media has much higher potential market.
  • Reply 68 of 156
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


    "physical CDs are still a popular form of music?



    Not a great argument! Yes, they are... but not AS popular as iTunes. Which hasn?t been out for nearly the ?decades? he predicts will be needed for iPad content to take off.



    He can argue that the paper-printed word still has a place. True, it does. He can?t effectively argue that the portable version doesn?t also have a place.



    I think iTunes still sells less albums (12 songs per album) than CDs. It's just that iTunes is the single largest distributer of music.



    Either way his argument fails because labels who want to maximize sales are selling CDs and digital downloads.
  • Reply 69 of 156
    modemode Posts: 163member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post


    You don't need to get a new iPad per digital copy. You do need to take a part of a tree per print copy.

    And trees may be renewable but not as fast as print would take them down.



    That said. All consumer devices should be recyclable.



    Not true at all.

    I can't speak for the rest of the world, but here in Canada our forests are growing at 3% annually - and we harvest a butt-load of trees. This doesn't bring into account reforestation and tree farms.

    Research what they are doing in south america - they are growing trees that are paper fiber ready in 6 years.
  • Reply 70 of 156
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mode View Post


    Not true at all.

    I can't speak for the rest of the world, but here in Canada our forests are growing at 3% annually - and we harvest a butt-load of trees. This doesn't bring into account reforestation and tree farms.

    Research what they are doing in south america - they are growing trees that are paper fiber ready in 6 years.



    Here in Europe we have no trees. So iPads are the way forward.
  • Reply 71 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    Absolutely true.



    Remember the days when the dot-coms were threating to send ALL brick and mortars businesses the way of the dinosaur?



    Guess who is still standing?



    Brick and Mortar stores.



    The same analogy applies here.



    Books, no matter how much the e-books devicer makers, electronic makers and publishers like to boast, are here to stay.



    The same applies to magazines.



    Hundreds of years of acclimation to printed press will not vanquish in thin air in a matter of mear 10 years.



    The print is versatile, requires no energy, flexible (moldable), can go through storms and still survive, be somewhat water proof (after it dries), be used as a quick umbrella during rainy seasons, folded into paper airplanes, can make origamis, used as a paper football, etc etc.



    Paper FTW





    Sure some brick and mortar stores have successfully rebranded and kept themselves relevant in the post internet economy, but many of them have gone out of business too. One such category are music and media stores and electronic retail stores. I'm not sure it's a very strong analogy.



    I also have to reply to your last paragraph...



    Paper is versatile and an touch device like an ipad somehow isn't? Sure draw a picture, write down co-ordinates or measurements. OK, but I can do the same overlaid 6 different ways and transferable in an instant with an ipad.



    Paper requires tons of energy, natural resources (trees and water) and hazardous chemicals to process. The fact that an iPad runs on electricity is actually the smalles amount of energy consumption for either paper or an idevice over a lifetime.



    I'm not sure how paper surviving a storm is a plus, do you mean like a "waxed" map? If I have to laminate or wax my maps I can just as easily buy a case for my ipad. Believe me carry one ipad is allot easier than carrying several devices, books, journals or periodicals into the field.



    The rest of you statement is a wash.
  • Reply 72 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Object-X View Post


    How many brick and mortar stores need to go out of business before you see what's happening? Where are the brick an mortar music stores? Netflix just killed Blockbuster, Borders just declared bankruptcy. Amazon just declared they sell more Ebooks than print. It's happening right now. I think Jann Wenner is insane if he thinks it's going to take decades.



    I suggest he go back and review his high school math and take a look at the exponential curve; the rate of technological change clearly fits this model. The problem with people who are stuck in the past is they think the rate of change is linear. This change is going to happen faster than most people realize. Less than a decade. Publishers who are investing in this technology now will have a distinct advantage over those who waited.



    Yeah, I was wondering what planet that guy was living on too. You summed things up nicely.



    Sounds like Wenner's got a bad case of 'Fear and Loathing' himself.
  • Reply 73 of 156
    Who cares what that burn-out CEO thinks?



    Popular Photography is one mag that jumped on the digital mag App platform and with style. Whether you are interested in photography or not there is no denying that that App is proof that success does thrive in the digital mag App market. I'm sure there are others and there will be more to follow, regardless of what anyone thinks at Rolling Stone. The sad part is that as some of you have mentioned Rolling Stone is in a perfect position to take full advantage of a digital mag model. Media based mags should be leading the way in this new arena, not trying to cling to ink/paper. Sound bytes, video clips... are you kidding me, ink/paper can't do that. Also, aren't the liberals like staffers at RS the same people always crying about unnecessary trash and the environment? How many print magus are tossed everyday with no hope of being recycled?
  • Reply 74 of 156
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,633member
    I love hearing media piggies squeal when they get stuck.
  • Reply 75 of 156
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,789member
    The best thing about Rolling Stone is and always has been the photography. Perfect for iPad.



    You can't pinch-to-zoom paper.
  • Reply 76 of 156
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mode View Post


    Not true at all.

    I can't speak for the rest of the world, but here in Canada our forests are growing at 3% annually - and we harvest a butt-load of trees. This doesn't bring into account reforestation and tree farms.

    Research what they are doing in south america - they are growing trees that are paper fiber ready in 6 years.



    Trees are renewable so far as the species can germinate and mature. 6 years is impressive, but that's only one species. The forest that originally occupied the land might very well never be able to grow there again. Allot of changes occur in the soil when you clear cut and the ecosystem is changed forever. What you plant back will not replace what was lost at all. You are talking about farmland not a forest.



    Plus you haven't even taken into account all of the BS processing that goes along with paper. Have you ever visited a paper mill? Nastiest place on earth. You will never forget it if you have.



    I'm not saying an Ipad is the greenest device ever by any stretch of the meaning, but to just say "Paper good, iPad bad" is just ignoring the reality that paper processing requires allot of resources too. I'd guess both are probably equally as bad, but I would also have to guess that would be difficult research to carry out.



    Apple has done a pretty good job of making their devices recyclable. I mean who in their right mind would throw even a broken iPad in the trash? It would more likely get sold as parts or recycled. Paper is probably thrown out more often when you look at the volume of news papers, magazines, paper plates, paper towels etc.



    I don't know the specifics, but the glass and the metal appear to be easy enough to recycle; aside from the battery that's a good portion of the device. In the future I can only imagine that the products will have more and more recyclable parts or parts that are do actually use reclaimed resources. One such tech off the top of my head i just saw on Reuters repurposed a byproduct from coal burning that could be used in metals to make the lighter and stronger.
  • Reply 77 of 156
    pgrove3pgrove3 Posts: 1member
    Rolling Stone ought to know that being cutting edge isn't easy. But they must comply. Resistance is Futile!
  • Reply 78 of 156
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by See Flat View Post


    I'm wondering why so many people bring up the 30% that Apple charges for hosting, distributing, collecting sales and making payments to it's media suppliers.



    These people always make it seem that Apple is ripping someone off?



    Because they don't understand business! Frankly 30% in some cases is a bargain. Especially considering the advantages digital distribution has over paper cost wise.

    Quote:



    Dont they realize that when they buy something in a store... that the store (depending on the location and product) is charging you from 15 to 60 %



    Maybe it has something to do with the educational system in the USA being far to liberal and not instructing children in the facts of Business life. Business by their very nature have to make money to pay the wages and purchase the materials and infrastructure for their products. Yet we have people totally shocked that Apple would want renumeration for providing a digital store and download service.



    Of course one can argue about the cut that Apple takes but that is silly. In business you negotiate a viable price or you find another vendor. Apple will likely adjust its pricing schedules when a viable alternative is on the market.
  • Reply 79 of 156
    zoolookzoolook Posts: 657member
    In some ways he's not wrong, but the main reason no one was buying magazines on the iPad is because they cost too much ($4.99 for Wired... ha ha ha). BUT... now that Wired is $19.99 for a year, and the Economist is the same price as a print subscription, people will start buying them. I subscribe to Wired, The Economist and The New Yorker and read them all on my iPad.
  • Reply 80 of 156
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    I think magazines like Pop Sci could do well if they offered discounted single issues. I don't read them enough to buy an annual subscription (~$1.30 per issue) but would be willing to buy an occassional issue. Unfortunately their single issues are priced at $4.99.
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