Although Condé Nast was one of the first magazine publishers to adopt digital replicas for mobile apps, along with Hearst, which has apps for all 14 of its mags, and Hachette Filipacchi, company execs note that they never claimed to have all the answers to making the transition from print. Describing the plunge into mobile as a “learning process,” Condé Nast sources speaking on background say the publisher preparing a deep research dive slated to be released in September. But even just two months after Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has released its iPad, the company claims to have already learned a lot about its readers’ early mobile magazine reading habits. For one thing, although Apple has proven a popular foundation for app efforts like Wired and recipe compendium Epicurious, Google’s Android users appear just as interested in Condé Nast’s offerings.
About two weeks after the Epicurious app was made available across Android-powered smartphones, users have downloaded the free foodie app over 160,000 times. Meanwhile, the iPad is still moving digital copies of the $4.99 Wired app, as a rep told paidContent that sales have topped 90,000 less than a month after its release. The second app issue should be out in another week.
The success of its paid and free apps have helped inspire Condé Nast to resurrect Gourmet magazine, which was shuttered last October, as a digital-only vehicle. (See our Staci D. Kramer’s tweets for more details.)
Early research is also reminding Condé Nast that mobile browsing remains the most popular way of experiencing mobile content. About 86 percent of the mobile browsing the publisher’s mags receive comes from iPhone or iPad users. Executives have also discovered what they believe is a strong case for engagement they hope to bring to advertisers, namely that users of its paid GQ iPhone and iPad app spend the same amount of time with the digital replicas as they do with the magazine, roughly 65- to 70 minutes each month.
Meanwhile, Condé Nast execs say they were bemused by a report in WWD suggested a competition between Condé Nast Digital, the umbrella unit for all the publisher’s online properties, and Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE), which has produced the app version of Wired and is now working on a similar treatment for the New Yorker. While CND had begun work on the New Yorker, the project was handed to Adobe since CND has already been prepping Glamour’s September issue for an August release. Plus, CND had its hands pretty full with continuing work on GQ, Vanity Fair and Epicurious apps.