Condé Nast Rolls Out iPad Subs For Wired, GQ; NY Mag Holds Off For Now


Condé Nast’s titles are continuing to roll out their subscription plans for the iPad following agreements between Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and other publishers such as Hearst Magazines and Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) Both Wired, which was one of the early successful iPad magazine app launches, and GQ, are the latest mags to accept Apple’s subscription terms, which includes taking a 30 percent cut of the revenues from each sale.

Separately, New York magazine is now available on the Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) Nook e-reader, a new version of which was unveiled by the company today at the Book Expo.

As part of the Nook Newsstand, New York is available by single issue (at the print newsstand price of $4.99) or monthly subscription ($2.99/month, in line with the print subscription rate). Unlike Wired and GQ, however, New York is not yet available for subscriptions on the iPad. The magazine does offer an app aimed at current print subscribers, but it’s little better than a PDF file than a true magazine app. New York looking at options for revamping its iPad app and is considering subscription capabilities as part of that, but there’s no word as to when that will happen.

Starting with the respective June issues, Wired and GQ will offer monthly and yearly iPad subscriptions and will continue to offer single issues, all via in-app purchase on the App Store. Subscriptions to Wired and will be available for $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. Current print subs also get access at no extra charge.

Since these are monthlies, both subs are cheaper than Condé Nast’s weekly The New Yorker, which offers bundled price for print, iPad and the website is $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

The Wired app first appeared in the App Store in May 2010 and sold 24,000 downloads of the $4.99 digital issue within 24 hours. In all, Condé Nast has had roughly 700,000 digital editions downloaded and approximately 7 million across 22 apps downloaded over the past few years.

A year after the first iPad’s release, the iPad 2 has also proved to be enormously popular, a fact that has not been lost on publishers hoping to find some balance between the mostly free content they offer on the web and the continued ad and circ struggles the industry faces on the print side. Furthermore, Google’s Android-powered Samsung Galaxy has presented the first big challenge to the iPad, though it is not expected to dent the Apple device’s dominance that much.

At the very least, the Galaxy has presented an alternative. Last week, the digital storefront joint venture, Next Issue Media, began doing business on the Galaxy with offers for subscriptions and single-issue sales from Hearst Magazines’ Esquire and Popular Mechanics, Meredith’s Fitness and Parents, Time Inc.’s Fortune and Time, and Condé Nast’s The New Yorker. By the end of the year, Next Issue plans to have around 40 titles in its storefront.

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