Thursday, January 10, 2013

Condé Nast, having shuttered Gourmet's print product in 2009, now said to be killing off its iPad app

There is a good way to tell if an app is dead: when, if ever, has it been updated? Take TNM's own iPhone app, it's as dead as a doornail, waiting to be replaced as soon as I finally decide I have something I like. (I've come close a few times to launching a new one.)

Gourmet Live, the iPad app that was launched by Condé Nast as some sort of compensation to the thousands of Gourmet readers upset with the company's decision to shutter the print magazine, has not been updated since February of last year. It won't be updated any time soon, apparently.

Keith Kelly at the NY Post wrote about the decision yesterday, but other than repostings of his story, nothing official has come out of Condé Nast. Even the website is pretty silent on the matter.

But owners of the app have known for a while that the end was near. In addition to the lack of updates, the app itself has been buggy and without any new material in some time.

With new food publications launching inside the Newsstand almost weekly, including Honest Cooking's own new tablet magazine, it is hard to see how this brand could survive. While the company points to its website for Gourmet, readers of the old magazine know that the publisher's heart simply isn't in it.

But you won't see Condé Nast selling off the brand to another media company. Most observer thought, back in 2009 when the publisher killed off the print title, that the reason for the decision was entirely aimed at making room in the market for the company's other food title Bon Appétit.

The lesson here is not that tablet apps can't make it, it is that products without their own sales and editorial staffs can't make it – a mistake media owners continue to make with shocking regularity.

Here is a trip down memory lane, the original promotional video for the Gourmet Live app, as seen in June of 2010: