But wait… Wired is all about technology — and in particular all things digital — and the iPad is a digital platform. Shouldn’t they go together like peaches and cream? Pizza and beer? Like Wired Magazine and a freaking 21st century wireless multimedia tablet display? Well, yeah.
The New Yorker has some key demos on its side; it’s an uptown magazine that targets upscale readers, folks who can well afford to buy an iPad (and do, in droves.) More, it’s long enjoyed one of the largest renewal rates of any American magazine: 85% of its subscribers remain loyal readers year over year. It’s a readers’ magazine, literary and lush with long, expository articles, criticism, satire, fiction and poetry. Says author Tom Wolfe of The New Yorker’s writing style:
“The New Yorker style was one of leisurely meandering understatement, droll when in the humorous mode, tautological and litotical when in the serious mode, constantly amplified, qualified, adumbrated upon, nuanced and renuanced, until the magazine’s pale-gray pages became High Baroque triumphs of the relative clause and appository modifier.”
So where might a literary magazine place its focus in creating an iPad app? How about the wants of the reader! Says the Times:
The New Yorker, a magazine that has always been heavy on text, took a different tack from its peers. Instead of loading its iPad app with interactive features, the magazine focused on presenting its articles in a clean, readable format.
“That was really important to us: to create an app all about reading,” said Pamela Maffei McCarthy, the magazine’s deputy editor. “There are some bells and whistles, but we’re very careful about that. We think about whether or not they add any value. And if they don’t, out the window they go.”
Good on ‘em.