Publishers Forming 'Magazine iTunes'

Online newsstand to combat slumping sales

By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 25, 2009 7:36 AM CST

(Newser) – The latest bid to save magazine publishing may soon have readers browsing the online racks of an iTunes-style newsstand. Major magazine publishers including Time Inc. and Conde Nast hope to exert some control over digital readership with a joint venture enabling readers to buy copies of the New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, and many other mags from a single website, the New York Times reports.

The new company, to be announced in early December, would offer print and electronic copies of publications and develop software standards for magazine viewing on iPhones, BlackBerrys, and e-book readers. "Finding the right digital business model is crucial for the future of our business,” Time chair Ann Moore said in developing plans for the venture. The magazine industry, slow to warm to digital products, has been playing catchup this year with endeavors like an issue of GQ sold as an iTunes app.

In this May 18, 2009 file photo, a customer reads magazines inside the Barnes and Noble store in Tallahassee, Fla.
In this May 18, 2009 file photo, a customer reads magazines inside the Barnes and Noble store in Tallahassee, Fla.   (AP Photo/Phil Coale, File)
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