Conde Nast makes iPad power play, despite Apple v Adobe Flash

Leading US publisher, Conde Nast, takes Apple’s iPad extremely seriously and intends releasing not one but five magazines in a format ready for the “magical” device, the New York Times explains.

The first magazines for which it will create iPad versions are Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Glamour, the company will announce today. GQ’s iPad version will be ready in April, while Vanity Fair and Wired will take space on your iPad in June, with the remaining two titles set to reach the platform this summer.

Charles H. Townsend, president and chief executive of Condé Nast, said the company is being public about its iPad plans in order to achieve a “leadership position”.

“We feel confident enough that consumers will want our content in this new format that we are committing the resources necessary to be there,” Mr. Townsend said. “How large a revenue stream digitized content represents is an answer we hope to learn through this process.”

There is one problem. The Wired title was developed with Adobe, and uses Flash which doesn’t work on iPhone/iPod. The dispute between Apple and Adobe over use of Flash has forced the publisher to support “two parallel development tracks going until the relationship between Apple and Adobe is clear”.

We seem to recall a few previous occassions at which the relationship with Adobe has been stretched: When Apple luanched Final Cut; when Apple attempted to convince a laggardly Adobe to catch up with OS X and Intel processors; when Apple attempted to convince Adobe to use Mac OS X-type system calls and code, rather than Adobe’s slow proprietary efforts. We don’t think the Flash battle is going to end well.

NB: Conde Nast already offers an iPhone application for GQ, which shifted 15,000+ copies of the January issue. The new iPad-happy versions of the mags will be sold through iTunes, at least at first.

Wired will also be available in non-iTunes formats.

4 thoughts on “Conde Nast makes iPad power play, despite Apple v Adobe Flash

  1. Ken Berger

    It is good that magazines will have to develop real online versions not just flash based web-viewable versions of their printed magazines.

    The print to flash web magazines are simply bad. What the world needs is someone to make “THE” ipad / HTML5 based publishing tool and that will finally get Adobe to start making great products again.

    Dreamweaver is the standard but horrible to use. And the rest of CS3 is resting on it’s laurels. Adobe code is old and buggy. They some real competition both to get them to make great products again (they did in the past) and we need to push the whole publishing creative UI / workflow – it is all too hard and the power is there to do something better.

  2. Bill Burkholder

    Amen to Ken Berger’s comments.

    Adobe makes some nice software. Flash isn’t nice. It’s not only not a universal standard, it’s buggy. But the biggest problem Adobe faces is that they want to stay proprietary with things that ought to be universal.

    We have certain (nearly universal) standards for broadcasting HDTV, SDTV, FM radio, AM radio, etc. We have certain universal standards for USB, Firewire (IEEE 1394), Ethernet, etc. So why can’t we have certain universal standards for publishing video on the Web? That’s what HTML5 is supposed to define…

  3. James Katt

    Interestingly, if you can create an app version of your magazine, then you have the full power of OS X behind you – much more than what can be done with Flash.

    And you have in-app purchasing for doing subscriptions. Easy as pie.

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