Thursday, January 26, 2012

Time Inc. accomplishes goal of creating tablet editions for all 21 U.S. titles; using Woodwing as partner

Although they have no new app to promote, Woodwing passed along a press release reminding everyone that Time Inc. has fulfilled its promise to bring all 21 of its U.S. titles to the iPad (as well as Android, Kindle, etc.). I think it is certainly worth taking note of the accomplishment.

All the apps have been in the Apple App Store for awhile now, with FORTUNE Magazine's app being the latest to get an update (very minor).

“With the availability of our entire portfolio of U.S. titles, we put ourselves in a great position to take advantage of these opportunities," said Mitch Klaif, CIO of Time Inc. "We also use WoodWing's solutions to help us produce our print editions, and WoodWing´s Digital Publishing Solution enables us to integrate our tablet publishing activities into our existing workflows. Working with WoodWing to make Time Inc. the number one publisher of digital magazines has been a great experience.”

“We would like to congratulate Time Inc. on this important milestone. At the same time, being able to bring such a large number of titles to various tablet platforms in such a short time frame is proof that our solution is perfectly capable of dealing with today’s publisher demands,” said Erik Schut, President of WoodWing Software.

OK, it is a lot of PR talk, but let's give credit where credit is due – they committed to creating iPad editions and have succeeded in that effort.

What Time Inc. hasn't accomplished, however, is coming to terms with Apple. All their apps remain outside of Newsstand, and they do continue to not offer digital subscriptions. As a result, the iPad editions prove to be a great addition for existing print subscribers, as well as a great way to access single issues for that long plane ride. But it is not a good way to subscribe.

Taking FORTUNE, for instance, a reader can go online and sign up for a 20-issue subscription for only $19.99. Like many publishers, they are taking a loss in order to maintain their circulation levels. I would think that getting 30 percent less than this for the digital edition, but saving the production costs would be worth it – but that is their position for now.

These editions are using Adobe's solutions, or course, as well as Woodwing Software Enterprise. Reader comments inside the App Store continue to be positive as a result, bearing in mind the occasional bug complaint. But Time Inc. continues to issue frequent app updates to address any of these issues as they arise.