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Details and GQ Get Digital Makeovers as Print Ad Sales Shrink

As Barnes & Noble launches its Nook e-reader today, we are reminded of how the popular aversion to paper and, of course, the recession have taken a tighter and tighter death-grip on the print industry. After the closure of Condé Nast Portfolio and more recently, Gourmet, the Condé Nast magazine empire seems to be making a bigger leap into the digital arena in an effort to stay competitive. With dwindling print ad sales and plummeting subscriptions, nearly every Condé Nast publication has taken a hit. Since last year, men's fashion glossy 'Details' is down $14.4 million in ad sales, a 28.2-percent decrease, while 'GQ' is down $37.6 million, or 27-percent.

But now, both GQ and Details have dedicated sites away from the Men.Style.com umbrella (which now just redirects to GQ's homepage). And instead of just plugging subscriptions for the print versions (although there's still plenty of that), those sites feature daily content, taking a cue from print-meets-digital publications like New York Magazine.

Conde Nast is also introducing digital versions of its full magazines as iPhone apps, priced at $3 a pop. The December issue of GQ is the first app-azine out of the gate, and it will feature every page (iPhone optimized, of course) of the original print version. The app should be available on the iTunes store on November 18, the same day the GQ December issue hits newsstands.

Will online ads be able to pull in the same kind of dollars as print? Probably not. But then again, daily digital content frequently costs less (and pays less, alas... ) than print. At least both GQ and Details have dynamic and well-designed new outlets for their content. And while some of us are secret paper apologists, we'd all rather see a good magazine migrate to the Net than fold altogether. (R.I.P. 'Gourmet.') [From: SPD and AdAge]

Tags: conde nast, CondeNast, death of print, DeathOfPrint, details, gq, magazine, top

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