Offline Pays For Content, Remains Cheap

Digital publishing news for December 30, 2014

There is a new app in Apple Newsstand that hopes to pay up $10,000 for a single article while remaining just $.99 a month. It’s called Offline. It was created by a team of developers from The New York Times, Audible, Instagram, BlackBerry and Apple. The app features five articles that are roughly 1000+ words in length. The publication also includes professional audio narration for every article. At any point,  the user can select a sentence and begin listening to the article.

Matthew Panzarino from Tech Crunch writes, “Offline’s pieces are initially all sourced from writers and personalities with large online followings. Because the payment for articles comes in the form of a percentage of revenue, there is an incentive for those contributors to promote the app as much as possible.”

The Maxim/ Darden Deal Is Dead

The New York Post is reporting that the deal to acquire Maxim by the Darden Media group is officially dead. Keith J. Kelly writes, “Negotiations by Darden Media to buy Maxim and its parent, Alpha Media, have collapsed, sources tell Media Ink. Cerberus Capital Management, Alpha’s majority owner, has now turned to the No. 2 bidder, a joint venture that includes Infinity Group, a licensing company, and Hilco Global, a buyer of distressed assets. Infinity and Hilco, already partners on a licensing and branding deal for Miss America, will bid, about $10 million less than the $30 million Calvin Darden Sr. said his fledgling Darden Media is willing to pay to acquire the laddie magazine.”

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People Gets New Paper

The New York Post is reporting that People will be switching to a thicker paper stock for its upcoming Oscar issue. Keith J. Kelly writes, “One industry source estimated it will cost anywhere from $1 million to $5 million for People to make the shift. It is not changing paper stock, which will remain a matte finish, but is going to a heavier grade or stock of paper.” Out of all the Time, Inc. properties, People is the only one to get the new heavier paper stock.

Sesame Street Gets a Magazine

Kids Screen is reporting that Sesame Street Workshop has signed a deal with Redan Publishing to produce Fun to Learn magazine. Gary Rusak writes, “Aimed at early learners, every issue will contain stories, an educational and interactive 16-page pull-out activity workbook, and an original Sesame Street poster. The 36-page, bi-monthly magazine will retail starting December 13 in the US and Canada for US $4.99 at newsstands and will also be available by subscription.”

New Managing Editor at Jet

minOnline is reporting that Wendy L. Wilson has been hired as the new managing editor for Jet. Steve Cohn writes, “Wilson’s Jet responsibilities appear to be similar to what she did at Essence in generating and writing original stories, developing content ideas for Jet and Jetmag.com and assisting Miller in the growth of the Jet brand through planning, decision-making and evaluating editorial content.”

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