Thursday, September 6, 2012

American Media launches a tablet edition for the iPad of its supermarket tabloid National Enquirer

I have, in the past, wondered how different the development of tablet publications would have been had Apple allowed pornography onto the iPad. Like it or not, the fact remains that the entire film industry owes its success with video and DVDs to the porn industry (according to a Merrill Lynch study, quoted in a University of Texas paper, porn video tapes accounted for half of all sales in the late 1970s).

With such a powerhouse industry backing the tablet platform, not only would Apple have sold millions more iPads, but the tablet publishing platform itself would have grown at lightning speed.
So if you can't read porn on your iPad, I suppose the next best thing would be supermarket tabloids, and American Media wants to make sure you get your fix.

Today American Media launched their ninth app for the iPad, this one for their supermarket tabloid National Enquirer.

It is kind of a mystery to me why this one wasn't released much earlier. All the American Media tablet editions have been unimaginative replica editions, difficult to read because they are designed exclusively for print. An app not in the Newsstand for Shape is probably the best of the bunch.

But the National Enquirer doesn't require a natively designed application. Satisfying the prurient interests of a tabloid reader doesn't require scrolling text boxes, animated stories or embedded video – an unflattering picture of Tom Cruise or Katie Holmes will do.

I certainly can't criticize American Media for their approach here, they are going for the big bucks: an annual subscription costs $99.99, and each issue will bring in $3.99. For some iPad owners, a little too embarrassed to throw a copy of the National Enquirer into their shipping cart at the grocery store, this new app may be the perfect solution.