Condé Nast to Launch Magazine Editions for Google’s Android

Publishers increasingly looking beyond Apple for digital edition future

Condé Nast announced on Monday the launch of digital editions of its magazines for Google’s Android.

The New Yorker and Wired will be the first Condé Nast titles to get the Android treatment this spring.

The announcement comes less than a week after Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated announced an “all-access” initiative allowing customers to access SI content on all devices for one price – and partnered with Google to do so. Time Inc. said on Friday its plan is to test the initiative with SI, and roll out other titles — like Time and People – soon after.

Together, the Condé Nast and Time Inc. announcements are a sign that magazine publishers already fed up with Apple’s vice-like grip over its iTunes Store are looking elsewhere to further their tablet futures.

Apple has yet to allow magazine publishers the ability to sell iPad edition subscriptions through its App Store — forcing them to sell issue-by-issue downloads. (So far, The Daily is the only publishing business iPad app that Apple has allowed to sell monthly subscriptions.)

“It bums us out when we get reviewed as being a sh–ty application, simply because it costs too much,” Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonell said late last week, lamenting their devil-like deal with Apple.

SI charges $4.99 per iPad issue download; for “all-access,” $48 annually or $4.99/month gets you the print edition — digital only for $3.99 per month. Condé Nast did not reveal its pricing plan for Android editions.

Echoing pretty much every print publisher this side of Rupert Murdoch, Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg said on Monday he intends to offer their content “on a variety of platforms and devices.”

Condé Nast has some experience already with Android editions. Its Epicurious app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times from the Android Market, the company said.