An iTunes for Powerhouse Publishers

Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Time Inc. partner for digital storefront

The much-hyped, not-so-top-secret digital project involving some of print publishing’s most recognized names has finally been unveiled.

Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Time Inc. and the wild card News Corp. announced on Tuesday the joint venture – à la Hulu – to develop a digital storefront – à la iTunes – to disseminate their magazine and newspaper brands across mobile devices.

The project has been rumored since June, Time Inc. chief Ann Moore gave SVP John Squires a rather difficult assignment: figure out how we can make money from its digital content (or, as Moore termed it, “put the genie back into bottle").

As part of Monday’s announcement, Squires has been named interim managing director of the joint venture.

The goal, he says, is “fourfold”: to create a “highly featured common reading application capable of rendering the distinctive look and feel of each publication; a robust publishing platform optimized for multiple devices, operating systems and screen sizes; a consumer storefront offering an extensive selection of reading options; and a rich array of innovative advertising opportunities.”

Squires said the ultimate goal is to make the content platform agnostic, or “‘unlocked’ for consumers to enjoy anywhere, anytime, on any platform.”

More to read:

What It Will Take for Paid Content to Work