Just got some clarity on the agreement Conde hammered out with Apple. Apple’s fundamental proposition hasn’t changed, but the publisher has gotten a few concessions out of Steve Jobs and Co. Examples via people familiar with the publisher:
- Apple still controls crucial subscriber information, and only allows Conde Nast to ask for name, zip and email. But the publisher now has two chances to ask for user’s email: The first as a standard opt-in screen, and then again on a screen that asks for email and a password in order to get exclusive content.
- Conde has more flexibility on pricing than Apple originally offered. For instance, at one point, Apple didn’t want the publisher to be able to offer a print digital bundle at a $10 premium to digital-only, but wanted all prices to be the same (which they will be when GQ offers subscriptions later this month: $19.99 a year for digital-only, or digital print).
- The agreement extends to international markets, etc.
Small stuff, but important to the publisher. Meanwhile, Apple gets what it wants without giving up much it cares about. Steve Jobs wins.
Yesterday Push Pop Press launched Our Choice, an interactive book by Al Gore about global warming for the iPad (and iPhone). I put iPhone in parentheses because right now all eyes are on the iPad, especially given the lackluster performance of The Daily after its much-anticipated debut.
I’ve written about iPad magazines before, and I’ve used a lot of the ones out there, many of which were made with Adobe’s Digital Publishing suite. I can’t say I know everything there is to know about adapting the printed word to tablets (I think that title currently belongs to Craig Mod), but I have worked on an app that does just that, and I know quite a bit about what’s doable and what’s not doable on an iPad. And taken as a whole, Our Choice is the best effort I’ve seen by far.
Here are my impressions of the app (app-book? book-app?) so far:
Is there any point in creating a dedicated app that’s limited to one kind of platform, doesn’t utilise conventions such as copy-and-paste, and is closed rather than extensible? In many ways, digital magazine apps go against much of what we’ve learned on the web in the last few years, and Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite seems to go against that and the desktop publishing revolution.
No media outlet should be allowed to complain about Flipboard.
In this cutting-edge new medium, cooks can clap hands to turn pages of an interactive recipe, a book about Richard Nixon can include footage of him sweating during presidential debates, a Sesame Street character can read a story out loud and, should your child get bored, the app can turn the tale into a jigsaw puzzle or a computerized finger-painting set.