Condé Nast Unveils New Approach To Magazine Apps

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Condé Nast may have tried to break the iPad app market before, but a new release may suggest a new way of doing things for the well-known publisher. Instead of being a digital version of an existing print publication, new app Best of Italy: Condé Nast Traveler combines existing articles on Italy into a new, digital-only $4.99 collection, sponsored by pasta maker Barilla.

If successful, the app points to a possible new digital direction for magazine publishers that avoids reader complaints about apps merely duplicating print releases or containing material that’s too familiar, while at the same time allowing publishers to create the illusion of new material without having to actually create – or, more importantly, pay for – original content.

Reformatting content to fit a digital experience isn’t a new idea, of course, and other companies are already working on similar experiments; for example, comic publisher Fantagraphics is considering breaking longer graphic novels into shorter digital releases. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s a trend that catches on as digital takes on more importance for formerly print publishers.

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