The New York Times reported yesterday that four leading magazine publishers — Time, Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith — are jointly developing an “online newsstand.” The initiative has ambitions of becoming the “iTunes of magazines,” according to the article. That bit of hyperbole aside, this initiative has a central idea that makes sense for traditional media players, including Yellow Pages publishers. Compete for customer spend, but collaborate on technology initiatives where it makes sense.
From the article:
“The new magazine company would, in theory, make it easy to buy print and electronic copies of publications like The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Better Homes and Gardens from a single Web site. While mostly leaving the hardware to others, the alliance of competing publishers would develop software standards for magazine viewing on iPhones, BlackBerrys, e-book readers and other platforms, people with knowledge of the plans said.”