Vogue launched its first iPad application on Thursday.
The app, called "Vogue Cover Exclusive," is just that: extra content featuring the cover subject — videos, interviews, audio, etc. — not found in the magazine or online.
Oddly, the app has a sponsor — M-A-C Cosmetics — yet it's still not free. Vogue is charging 99-cents per download through the App Store.
Nonetheless, this part of Vogue's iPad launch is smart (emphasis mine):
Breaking from the traditional method of making the complete issue available, the Vogue Cover Exclusive app focuses on the cover talent, giving users access to exclusive content, a faster download, and a more personal experience.
Excruciating download speeds have dogged some of the publishing industry's splashiest iPad editions (see early reviews on Richard Branson's "Project" or even Rupert Murdoch's "Daily").
Interestingly, Vogue said it won't necessarily launch an app for every issue — it'll depend on the cover subject. (So, for the moment, the whole debate over Apple's monthly subscription service is moot here.)
It seems Vogue knows that its sweet spot is still the print magazine.
Here's how Vogue editor Anna Wintour put it in the release: "Who better to star in Vogue's debut on iPad than the media-savvy cultural juggernaut that is Lady Gaga? … We have created a custom brand of journalism targeted at the Twitter generation."