Wednesday, December 28, 2011

TNM's Year in Review: Q2

Part one of this series can be found here.

Next week marks the two year anniversary of Talking New Media, a website launched a little over three months before Apple shipped its first iPads, but more than a decade after the first newspaper and magazine websites appeared online.

2011 was a very eventful year in world news, but in some ways it was a simply a continuation of 2010 where media critics continued to debate the paid content versus advertising strategies, and where the gurus of aggregation and layoffs, disguised as 'digital first' proponents, continued to hold sway – despite any evidence that their philosophy could translated into profit publishing models.

April:

News:
Japan raises nuclear crisis level
Bonnier spins out mag+ into a new separate company
Orange Country Register releases iPad afternoon edition

The Onion launched its own iPad app, appropriately enough on April 1st.
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Time Warner was forced to remove several channels from its iPad app including FX, Discover Channel and MTV, as networks resisted allowing cable providers extend their services to tablets. Later in the month HBO releases its own iPad app, HBO GO, which will stream content directly to subscribers.

"We believe we have every right to carry the programming on our iPad app," Time Warner said at the time. "But, for the time being, we have decided to focus our iPad efforts on those enlightened programmers who understand the benefit and importance of allowing our subscribers--and their viewers--to watch their programming on any screen in their homes."

Woodwing said in early April that it would make its tablet publishing format, "ofip", open and free of charge. But months later the company would transform itself into solely an enterprise publishing solutions company that would support the Adobe platform.

Jelle de Weert, 23, a student at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute released brilliantly conceived tablet edition for the school's annual magazine. Odd Magazine transformed the 138 page print magazine into a 300+ interactive digital product.

Near the end of the month Apple finally responds to security concerns that it tracking iPhone user locations. "Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so." The issue quickly goes away.

May:

News:
Osama Bin Ladin killed in raid
Microsoft buys Skype
Zillow reports that 28.4% of all single-family homes with mortgages are under water due to lower home values
Nomad Editions releases its first iPad app
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TNM contributor Pedro Monteiro wrote a post about the new app from Joe Zeff Design called Above & Beyond: George Steinmetz. Later in the month TNM reprinted his interview with Zeff.

The company behind the drink Red Bull released its first iPad magazine. The first issue of Red Bulletin featured SF Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum on the cover.

German newspaper Schwäbische Zeitung releases its first iPad app. The app is the first of many released that put most U.S. newspaper publishers to shame. Meanwhile, Metropoli launched a series of replica editions for its Italian weekly newspapers. The divide between app strategies Рnative design versus replica editions Рcontinued throughout the year.

Unable to get Apple to go along with an iPad app, Playboy launches an HTML solution instead though its new site, iPlayboy.com.

Next Issue get set to launch its digital newsstand, but only for the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

June:

News:
Patent troll Lodsys files lawsuits against seven small developers
Windows 8 previewed at All Things D
Greek debt crisis begins becoming front page news
Layoffs follow News Corp.'s sale of MySpace

June started with the announcement that Bill Keller would step down as editor at the NYT, to be replaced by Jill Abramson.
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The Financial Times decides to go with a web based app rather than split subscription revenue with Apple. The initial launch was not well executed, but eventually the financial newspaper was able to claim success for its strategy - proving that financial newspapers are in a far better position to create paywalls.

Penguin Group releases app version of On the Road, the Jack Kerouac classic. Penguin had committed to developing apps for the iPad at the time of Apple's tablet announcement, saying that "The definition of the book itself is up for grabs."

Magzter launched its own digital newsstand serving the Indian magazine market.

Bonnier releases a disappointing tablet edition for its food magazine Saveur. Rather than using the company's own native publishing solution, Mag+, Bonnier instead used a replica solution called MagLight.

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