iPad apps – expectations for content producers

MacNN: GQ records extremely low iPad magazine downloads
VP and publisher Pete Hunsinger doesn’t seem to get digital:

Hunsinger defends the iPad edition, claiming that it costs “nothing extra,” given that there are no printing or shipping costs. The iPad app is $2 less than the print edition, and GQ is also charging just $2 for back issues. The VP says he expects the iPad to eventually become a “major component” of circulation; one boost is anticipated with the June issue, which will feature Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr.

First off, I would argue that the iPad version should cost as much, if not more than the print version. From my experience, most people don’t understand the costs that go into building products/experiences/tools for the web. There’s an incorrect assumption that because this product isn’t physical and ‘real’, it must be cheaper to make.
The truth is that it should cost a lot of money to create an iPad version of GQ magazine if they truly exploit everything that makes experiences on the iPad great. This doesn’t mean you have to go overboard when using a new medium, but it does mean creating an appropriate experience.
And that’s what we’re talking about when talk about building for iPads and iPhones – experiences. I’ve read a number of stories in the press about the iPad being a device for passive consumption, but that’s a premature dismissal. If GQ is simply digitizing text and making image galleries that you can flick through, they’ve missed the point. That’s easy.
My second point is that the iPad is not and should never be ‘the savior’ of the print industry.
Every company is responsible for their own fate. Whether you’re Conde Nast trying to convert your print publications into digital experiences, or Adobe trying to make Flash relevant to mobile computing, blaming or praising Apple for your failure or success is to sell your company short.
Conde Nast is moving their properties onto an amazing platform. They’re responsible for creating an amazing experience.
Evolve or die.