• "Hulu for Magazines" to Provide Content for Tablet?

    Following the publisher's revelation that WIRED magazine will soon have a digital version of its publication for something that looks a lot like the rumored Apple tablet, a new report indicates that there are plans afoot by the biggest names in publishing to create a sort of App Store for digital content. Quoting unnamed source, the New York Observer reports on a new consortium being put together by Time Inc, Condé Nast and Hearst to put their combined total of more than fifty magazines online.

    The company will prepare magazines that can work across multiple digital platforms, whether the iPhone, the BlackBerry or countless other digital devices. The company will not develop an e-book, but create something that people familiar with the plans compare to iTunes—a store where you can buy new and distinct iterations of The New Yorker or Time. Print magazines will also be for sale.
    A deal is supposedly expected “within weeks”, with publishers eager to work together to reduce costs and create synergy by making a lot of content available on this new marketplace. One executive involved in these plans explains: “Unlike books and music, I think [for magazines] it involves designing a new product in order for it to be something that consumers really love.”

    The Sydney Morning Herald last month reported that Apple had shared format specifications with media companies in an attempt to encourage them to develop products for the (still unannounced) tablet.

    "The tablet is tipped to be a larger version of the iPhone. It is small enough to carry in a handbag but too big to fit in a pocket. It will have a touch screen and be targeted at users who mainly want to surf the web, read books and newspapers or watch movies," the Herald reported.

    The tablet has long been on the shelf at Apple because skeptics within the company - Steve Jobs chief among them - felt there was no market for it, with the CEO reportedly scoffing "What are these things good for besides surfing the Web on the toilet?" Reports recently, however, have indicated enthusiasm on Jobs's part, with the company founder looking to position the device as a portable digital media reader.
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