Apple Media Event Reportedly Focused on iBooks and Publishing

Yesterday evening, Kara Swisher reported for AllThingsD that Apple is planning a media event in New York City for late January. The Loop's Jim Dalrymple coroborated this report with his signature confirmation, "yep."

Rampant rumor-mongering ensued, with many keen to ignore Swisher's initial reports titular caveat: "Not the iPad 3 or New TV."

Techcrunch has acted to save our sanity today by conferring with its sources, and suggesting that the event will, in fact, deal with publishing, iBooks, and Newsstand.

Alexia Tsotsis:

According to the source the event will not involve any hardware at all and instead will focus on publishing and eBooks (sold through Apple’s iBooks platform) rather than iAds. Attendance will also be more publishing industry-oriented than consumer-focused.

The event will unveil improvements to the iBooks platform, according to the same source, and is not “major.” I’m still trying to track down other details, such as the exact day and time and will keep you posted. My request for more information was sent to Apple via email and has not yet been responded to.

Swisher has also stated that the Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, will be present for the event, thus lending credence to the publishing focus of the event.

The moral of the story? It's certainly not the iPad 3 or the Apple TV, and the event is more than likely going to be aimed primarily at the publishing industry, not the average consumer. See Apple's joint release of The Daily last year for further reference.

"On Magazines and the iPad"

Justin Williams:

Reading magazines on the iPad is an exercise in frustration. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. As great a device and, more importantly, platform as Apple has created, magazine publishers have done nothing short of fumble the snap in their own end zone.

I read a lot of magazines. They are great for people with short attention spans like myself, available on a variety of diverse topics and are usually pretty well designed. On paper that is. On the iPad? I wish I never learned to read.

Justin makes some great points, and even offers some potential solutions.

But while I'm inclined to agree with his argument, I cannot help but see the current magazine offerings on the iPad as being little more than works in progress. The GQ we have now, for instance, is completely different than the GQ we had a year ago. 

Publishers are only just getting to grips with the medium, and many are just beginning to realize that the iPad should not precisely mirror a magazine, but offer something different. Sure it's taken a long time for that realization to come about, but I think Newsstand is beginning to accelerate the process. Accordingly, I think we're likely to see some newer, more efficient takes on the magazine in the coming months.

Condé Nast Subscriptions up 268 Percent since Newsstand Launch

Darrell Etherington for GigaOM:

The publisher, which puts out many top-tier magazines including Wired, GQ and The New Yorker, has seen digital subscriptions rise 268 percent since Newsstand arrived with the iOS 5 update almost two weeks ago.

Not only did subscriptions increase, but single issue sales also skyrocketed with a 142 percent increase when compared with the eight weeks prior to Newsstand’s launch. Both represent increases as measured across all nine of Condé Nast’s digital titles available on the iOS platform.