A group of more than 50 publishers, led by Time Inc., are in the final stages of creating a consortium for selling digital versions of their magazines through the iPhone, Apple’s rumored iTablet, Amazon’s Kindle and other e-readers, according to a Tuesday report.
The company, including Time Inc., Conde Nast and Hearst, would offer The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, People, Sports Illustrated and other magazines using an iTunes-like “any way you want” store for content, sources told The New York Observer. The deal could be “announced within weeks,” according to the newspaper.
The publishing group reportedly met with Apple and other hardware makers in October about their intentions of presenting magazines via the devices. Creating a one-stop-shop for magazines used on Apple’s iPhone or tablet, Amazon’s Kindle and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry necessitates “one point of contact for consumers,” a source told the publication.
The story would dovetail with a number of other reports that publishers are preparing for the rumored 2010 introduction of such a device from Cupertino.
The story follows repeated news Apple is developing a so-called iTablet that would present readers with content. Although one analyst claims delays have pushed back its introduction until late 2010, Conde Nast said it will have 18 publications tablet ready by the middle of next year.
Early on, Apple envisioned launching the tablet with content ready for users. Apple has reportedly approached a number of publishers, seeking their help to have “hybrid content” that includes video, audio and other interactivity read for whenever a tablet appears. The rush to have magazines and other material ready for the tablet appears to be a switch from earlier Apple product launches. When the company began selling the iPod, it had no content ready for use on the MP3 player.