Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hearst brings Cosmo (and sex tips) to Apple's Newsstand

It must be terribly frustrating for some of the media writers out there who have advised publishers to avoid working with Apple to see that publishers are quickly relaunching their magazine apps to make sure they are found inside Apple's new iOS 5 Newsstand. Many other publishers, like Future plc, flooded the App Store yesterday with new apps (54 of them), timed to appear just as their readers were struggling to download the new OS.

Hearst Newspapers yesterday updated its app for the San Francisco Chronicle to make sure it could be found in Newsstand, and this morning Hearst Magazines launched a new app for its magazine Cosmopolitan to replace the one it initially launched in March. Cosmopolitan Magazine is a free iPad app (not universal) that will now begin utilizing Apple's subscription services inside iTunes. The two subscription options are $1.99 a month, or $19.99 for a year.

Cosmo joins Popular Mechanics, O The Oprah Magazine, Esquire and CFG: Cosmo for Guys inside Newsstand – all are new apps released in the last 24 hours.

(Of course, I could have focused in on the new Esquire app, but anytime you can write "sex tips" in a headline it has to be good for traffic, right? Interestingly, if you click on Condé Nast's GQ app to download you get a message saying that the app contains adult material, but Cosmo, with its blaring headline "Sex Tips" does not give you the same message.)

We are beginning to see reviews pop up in the App Store from readers who are complaining that once they update their magazine app it disappears from their iPad. Actually, the app simply moves from where ever it originally was and now can be found inside Newsstand.

It is strange that Apple is allowing these reviews to appear when it is clear that these readers either were not aware that the apps had moved, or had not updated their iPads to the new OS. Hopefully Apple will clean out these erroneous reviews for their publisher partners.