Publishers Announce Joint Venture for Digital Future

LOS ANGELES — Five major U.S. publishers are creating a collaborative content storefront that will carry interactive periodicals packaged for portable devices like tablets.

Hearst, Conde Nast, Meredith, News Corporation and Time Inc. announced Tuesday a collaborative digital store initiative coined “the Hulu/iTunes for magazines” that will carry digital magazines and newspapers.

Books, comic books, blogs, and other media will be added at a later stage.

“For the consumer, this digital initiative will provide access to an extraordinary selection of engaging content products, all customized for easy download on the device of their choice, including smartphones, e-readers and laptops,” said John Squires, the venture’s interim managing director.

“Once purchased, this content will be unlocked for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform.”

According to a press release, the goal of the joint digital initiative will be to:

  • Create a highly featured common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each publication;
  • Design a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes;
  • Offer a consumer storefront offering an extensive selection of reading options; and,
  • Offer a rich array of innovative advertising opportunities.