Martha Stewart Living’s iPad App Will Influence Content For Print

Less than two weeks after Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) released its first iPad app, it has introduced a second one that serves as both a preview of what’s to come and a clearer expression of its evolving approach to digital, print and TV. In a presentation last week, MSLO Editorial Director and Creative Head Gael Towey said that the app, which features all original “magazine” content, will ultimately influence the way the traditional mag is produced once the hybrid print/digital version is released next year.

“There is so much more we can do when it comes to storytelling in a truly multimedia setting,” said Towey, who not only oversaw the creation of the Living app, but also worked on the first issue of that magazine exactly 20 years ago (and no, it’s not a coincidence).

The latest app launch also comes less than a month after MSLO completed a big shakeup of its ad sales team. Under the new approach, one person is the focal point across all print, broadcast and online marketing efforts. As part of the change, Group Publisher Sally Preston is being promoted to EVP, media sales and marketing. At the same time, three veteran MSLO execs were dismissed: Janet Balis, EVP of media sales and marketing; Orlando Reece, SVP of broadcasting; and Christine Cook, SVP of digital.

There’s a greater ability and call for blending all the various media formats available to MSLO, Towey said. “And that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

The digital issue — which is completely separate from the current print edition on the stands — is subtitled “Boundless Beauty.” The app (embedded below) opens with an animated image of a single peony blooming. The animation was composed of 180 stills photographed over 10 hours to create the effect of the petals opening.

Inside, the subject matter is the standard Martha Stewart Living fare: articles and advice on decorating, crafting, cooking. But there’s one other small difference in the content, which is more articles and ads revolving around personal beauty. “We expect that the app audience would skew a little younger than the typical reader, so we aimed some of those features at what we expect will be a new audience,” Towey said.

Aside from that, there’s also a fairly spectacular photo essay and video about salmon fishing in Alaska. (Is this a regular thing Martha Stewart Living readers expect from the mag as well?)

As the MSLO creative team gets ready to blend the print and digital apps next year, the app issue also lays the groundwork for more e-commerce by creating a partnership program for marketers who advertise in the mag.