Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gourmet will get new life as an iPad app

Killed off by Condé Nast last fall, Gourmet is being revived as an iPad app, scheduled to launch about a year after the decision to close the print edition. The app will be called Gourmet Live.

Here is a preview:

The decision to close Gourmet was a bit controversial at the time, as Condé Nast chose to support its Bon Appétit brand during an especially rough advertising environment. But since that time Apple has introduced the iPad and tablet publishing has become another option for publishers wondering about the viability of some of their brands.

While Condé Nast currently has tablet apps for Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ, its Epicurious app may be the better model for Gourmet Live, as the iPad is capable of being used as a recipe book, as well as video demonstration device.

To develop the concept behind Gourmet Live Condé Nast partnered with Activate, a start-up consultancy founded by Anil Dash and Michael Wolf, a company whose goal is to "take advantage of the changes in culture that are happening because of technology", according to Dash's own blog.

Update: Press reports of the media event held today say the app is to be released in the fourth quarter, while the Gourmet website states "fall". That would mean October or early November, right?

Last point, the chances that this will represent the revival of the old Gourmet are nil. Gourmet was a more literary magazine than Bon Appétit, which was originally owned by Pillsbury & Co. More than likely Condé Nast will take advantage of the Gourmet brand name to create something new, something that would appeal to a somewhat younger audience -- in other words, iPad owners.