Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Media odds & ends: Condé Nast continues iPad launches with new app for SELF, the Sun-Times does a Groupon; Livestation releases its own branded apps for iOS devices

Continuing its string of new magazine iPad apps, Condé Nast today released a new tablet edition of SELF Magazine. The first issue available is April, with an in-app purchase price of $3.99.
“The new app enhances the depth and breadth of SELF’s core content offerings with innovative and exciting interactive features,” SELF Editor-in-Chief Lucy Danziger said in the company's release. “Each monthly digital edition going forward will enable women to engage more deeply in their favorite SELF content with unique, sophisticated and joyful tools to inspire her to tap into her best self.”

Advertisers within the first edition of the magazine include Reebok, Aveeno and Tyson.
Also released today was a new version of the Vogue app which allows users to buy new Vogue Exclusive editions through the app. The first special edition featuring Lady Gaga was released almost two weeks ago and now another featuring Rihanna is available through the new app.

This makes 17 apps from Condé Nast available for the iPad, with another nine apps that are designed for the iPhone. Condé Nast has been releasing new tablet editions that have been developed using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Last week Glamour received a new iPad app.

The Sun-Times group did a Groupon. Actually, this offer came out on Sunday, I've finally gotten around to mentioning it.

It's not a bad deal either: $30 for a year's worth of Sunday newspapers, plus a seven-day "e-paper" subscription. The offer says this is 54 percent off the regular price of $65. But like a lot of offers from circulation departments, they can't seem to get their prices straight.

The Sun-Times site says a one-year e-paper subscription, by itself, is $69.99.

Of course, who wants to read one of those online flipbooks? Nobody. But vendors keep selling publishers these worthless things, and publishers keep buying them. What's that saying about a fool and his money? Now a one-year Sunday home delivery package combined with an iPad daily edition . . . now that would be a winner.

Of course, the Sun-Times would have to release their first apps, now wouldn't they? Instead, I see a number of apps in the iTunes App Store that takes the RSS feeds from the Chicago newspaper and profits from them. (Puts head in hand in despair.)

Livestation, the folks that provide live television broadcasts of Al Jazeera English, have released their own universal app. The new Livestation app is a welcome addition to the app store, especially as it appears that the cable TV providers in the U.S. will continue to blacklist Al Jazeera.
Livestation released a series of apps in support of Al Jazeera for the iPhone, but this app will be quite nice on the bigger display of the iPad.

One thing missing from that app description, however, is any word about whether the app is AirPlay-enabled. If so, a user could stream the content to their Apple TV for viewing on a large screen TV. If not, an owner of an iPad 2 would have to use the new HDMI adapter cable to "mirror" their iPad's display onto a television.

Sadly, the first review inside the App Store is from a wingnut who accuses the company of supporting terrorism. Hopefully Apple will pull the review down, or the idiot will get sued by Livestation.