Advertising Age Staff
Media companies have been racing to develop iPad applications, but only some will be ready from the start. And only some of those have built really new apps for the tablet, while others are kicking off with converted versions of existing iPhone apps. Here’s a tour of some of the biggest players and what they’re offering at the outset.
The ABC player for the iPad is starting off with free, ad-supported episodes from approximately 20 series, including "Lost," "Grey’s Anatomy," "Modern Family" and "Desperate Housewives."
CBS is offering streaming video clips from a variety of shows as well as full episodes of "Survivor" and technology content from CNET.com. Full-length CBS programs are available for purchase via iTunes and viewing on iPad.
CBS Interactive Music Group is launching a free iPad app for Radio.com that will feature live streams from more than 550 music stations and over three dozen news, talk and sports stations from CBS Radio’s network and streaming partners such as Yahoo Music. CBS will use Last.fm’s "scrobbling" technology to send music recommendations to users and share what songs friends are listening to.
The radio company’s iheartradio app will launch a free iPad version of its existing iPhone app this weekend, but is expected to roll out a custom app later this year with better tailored opportunities for advertisers and local station activation.
Wired’s iPad edition is under development and Vanity Fair, Glamour and The New Yorker are expected this year too, but Conde Nast is kicking off on the iPad with its GQ app, which the iTunes store says was "developed for both iPhone and iPad" but now includes optimization for the iPad. Each issue of the GQ app edition costs $2.99.
Discovery is bringing its "MythBusters" franchise to the iPad with a $4.99 app comprised of behind-the-scenes clips, outtakes from the show and three multi-level games in which users can compete against each other.
ESPN is launching two free apps, "ESPN Pinball" and "ScoreCenter XL," customized for the iPad. "Pinball" is an arcade-like gaming app featuring voiceover commentary from "SportsCenter" host Jay Harris, while "ScoreCenter" is an adaptation of the successful iPhone app featuring real-time score updates and play-by-play recaps.
Rodale, the publisher of Men’s Health, is offering Men’s Health as an iPad edition for $4.99 an issue but is making 10-page previews free to consumers. Each issue will include all the editorial content of the print edition plus extras such as video. Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand secured sponsorship of the April and May issues of the Men’s Health iPad edition by increasing its other ad spending with Men’s Health.
There are "co-viewing" apps, meant for use while watching shows, under development, but MTV Networks is starting out on the iPad with offerings such as its $4.99 Beavis and Butthead app, which includes video clips and games, and the $2.99 app VH1 Classic Presents: Intellivision Games for iPad.
National Public Radio
NPR has introduced not just an app but a new website customized for the iPad. The free app is meant to highlight news, arts, lifestyle and music content in a "magazine-style" presentation. Both the app and site load audio players built specifically for the iPad.
The New York Times
The New York Times’ "Editors’ Choice" app is offering a selection of news, opinion and features, available free to consumers and relying on advertiser support. The Chase Sapphire card is sponsoring the app at the start.
Popular Science is the first iPad app from Swedish publishing house Bonnier. The science magazine app was developed on the publisher’s Mag Plus platform, which will be used to get its titles on the iPad soon. The app will feature content from the magazine’s April issue and touts flow navigation "more like a panning camera than a flipping page." Future issues will sync with the print publishing schedule and will be on sale within the app.
The Time iPad app will include all the magazine’s weekly content plus additional slide shows and video, costing consumers $4.99 per issue. Initial advertisers include Fidelity, Korean Air, Liberty Mutual, Lexus, Toyota and Unilever. "We’re proud of Time on the iPad and of the special features that will be in it, such as extra pictures, videos and a news feed featuring the latest stories from Time.com," managing editor Rick Stengel wrote in his editors’ letter for the April 12 issue. "We were a little handicapped in part because, unlike some other news organizations, we were not been working with an actual iPad. It is the beginning, not the end, of the process, and we hope to evolve and change every week."
USA Today’s app will include much of the editorial content from each morning’s paper and will update around the clock. It’s free to consumers for the next three months, courtesy of a sponsorship from Courtyard by Marriott, but will require a paid subscription after that. USA Today has not yet set the subscription price.
Disney is offering two read-along "Toy Story" apps from Disney Publishing Worldwide, one free and the other available at $8.99 with a year-long subscription to disneydigitalbooks.com; iPad videos from Disney movies and Disney Channel TV shows from Disney.com; three-page previews of more than 500 Marvel comic books with the option to purchase each selection in total; and more.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal for iPad is a free download with some free content, but complete access will require a subscription that runs $3.99 per week. The subscription will include news throughout the day, top picks from editors and access to the last seven days’ worth of print content. Initial advertisers include Buick, Capital One, Coca-Cola, iShares, FedEx and Oracle, with full-screen ad units that appear between article and section pages.
The Weather Channel
One of the top apps for iPhone and Blackberry, the Weather Channel comes to the iPad with expanded custom weather forecasts, full-length videos of Weather Channel programming, interactive maps, weather alerts and other features. The free app is sponsored by Toyota.
It’s not just traditional media companies, of course, gunning for the iPad’s early adopters: YouTube, for example, has introduced a free iPad app tailored for the new device.