Magazines: Nomad Editions’ new mobile model


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A group of magazine veterans, including former Newsweek president Mark Edmiston, have announced Nomad Editions, a line of subject-focused magazines designed for mobile devices. Every Friday, subscribers will get a new set of stories -- some big, some small -- that use multimedia elements, combining text, audio and video. There will be no print component.

Electronically based text, audio and video -- hmm, sounds familiar. Kind of like the Internet.


Can Nomad Editions be different enough to lure readers/watchers away?

Maybe. On the one hand, it’s going straight for the mobile market, in design and content. And that market has proven it can be fertile: When Wired launched its iPad app in the spring, it swiftly became a top download, moving 24,000 copies in a single day (a gross of $120,000, net about $84,000 for the magazine after Apple’s cut). Nomad Editions subscriptions will be about $24 for a year, less for a quarter. Each magazine will have a free 30-day trial.

Nomad Editions has lined up the talent to create strong electronic content. Designer Roger Black is on board; he’s no slouch. Editor in chief John Benditt has a long history of leading publications on the front edge of technology. And at first, anyway, the idea is to narrowcast -- the first four magazines will focus on food, movies, social networking and surfing.

But the mobile market has been moving right along since Wired’s app launched. Wired itself has upped the ante -- while lowering its price -- and taken relatively statically designed pages and added video. With Will Ferrell. And every other magazine has been getting in the mix.

Maybe the most innovative thing about the model is that writers and editors will be getting a cut of the advertising and subscription dollars for their work, the New York Times reports.

Wait, writers getting paid according to how many people read their writing? I have heard that before. It’s how Gawker Media pays its writers -- for their work on the Internet.

-- Carolyn Kellogg