The New York Observer is reporting that Time, Inc. executive VP John Squires has been making the rounds of other major publishing houses lately with one thing in mind: creating an iTunes-like magazine store for digital distribution of their titles. At this time, it appears that Time, Inc., Condé Nast, and Hearst are all planning on joining the alliance, with over 50 top magazines that would for sale in the store. Those titles include Sports Illustrated, Time, People, The New Yorker, Vogue, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
The as-yet-unnamed store doesn't plan on adding a new reader device to the mix. Instead, the consortium is looking at ways to distribute content to existing platforms such as the iPhone, Kindle, nook, BlackBerry, and the major computer operating systems. Reading the post, it seems to this writer that although Squires and Co. have a great idea, the execution of the plan might be doomed already. Quoting from the Observer article:
The deal is taking time to complete because it involves so many moving pieces.
"It's pretty complicated stuff," said a source. "The really, really hard part is that you've got so many different kinds of devices running on different operating systems. And how do you handle that? The consortium provides one point of contact for the consumer. When you come to the main store, you can get the content any way you want."
In addition to building up the store, each publisher will actually have to figure out how to build digital versions of their own magazines.