June 15, 2015 Last Updated 12:46 pm

Let’s kill this publishing myth; Condé Nast updates Apple Watch app for Epicurious

While reader data has always been important for publishers to have, it hasn’t always been easy to get, including for print publishing products

There are certain myths of the publishing business that seem to be growing as we move from print to digital. One that I wish would die a quick death is the idea that publishers of print products automatically knew more about their readers than digital publishers can. Like many myths, there may be some element of truth to it, but it is far from being 100 percent accurate.

BN-Cafe-600This idea was promoted today by Frédéric Filloux in his Monday Note, and while I understand the point he is making (it has been made many times before) it oversimplifies things. Filloux is saying that there is a “shift in news distribution” as publishers use Facebook, Apple and other third parties to distribute their content. But in his illustration he makes the same mistake, often repeated by publishers who like to complain about Apple’s policy to not share customer information, that in the traditional distribution model for print, publishers had complete information on their readers. If this was really the case companies like Scarborough Research, Readex and others would never have existed.

What is true, however, is that there are many changes occuring on the distribution side of the publishing business, with new dominate players emerging. But I think it is also fair to say that the old distributors, in their prime, had an enormous influence on the business. The whole nature of cover design was influenced by the newsstand and the way distributors wanted to sell. Facebook, Flipboard, Apple and other digital distributors will likewise influence both content and design, and profoundly effect monetization of mobile users – Filloux’s main point.

Out of pure curiosity I signed up TNM Digital Media for the Mission Main Street Grant program, sponsored by Chase. The program offers 20 grants to small businesses of $100,000 each. (You can see TNM’s submission by searching for TNM Digital Media.)

What followed was a series of emails from companies designed to “vote” for your submission. For $50 I can guarantee a certain number of votes for my submission, something that is necessary, it turns out, because if TNM’s application doesn’t get 250 votes by the end of this week we can’t be considered.

That’s a hell of a way to fund a new business, by popular vote, and probably a guarantee that the only winners will be those backed by scammers (and may be scams themselves).

That’s a shame.

There have only been a trickle of new media app updates released as we are now in the summer lull between WWDC and the introduction of new software and devices in the fall.

AW-EpiCondé Nast Digital, though, has updated its app for Epicurious, as it refines what it offers for the Apple Watch.

Here are the details on the update:

What’s New in Version 4.5.2
If you missed our last update, we added a smart kitchen timer for Apple Watch and the iPhone, too. This handy little feature can tell you how long it takes to cook more than 40 meats and vegetables, from acorn squash to zucchini.
And with this update, we’ve added even more bells and whistles to the smart timer. (Well, the bells anyway.) Now, when your dish is halfway done, you’ll hear a ding. When it’s just about done, you’ll get a double-ding. And when it’s finally done, a truly epic triple-ding. Also fixed: Some bugs related to ZipList recipes, third-party recipes, and member recipes

The update begs the question, though, just how many Apple Watches are actually in the market? Apple avoided having to disclose its sales numbers during its last earnings conference call thanks to choosing a launch date so late in the quarter. The next earnings report in July, though, will reveal more detail.

But I unlike the iPhone, a sale for the Apple Watch does not necessarily mean it is an active device. Today watches are as much about fashion as utility, and if the Apple Watch is seen the same way it may mean that users will not automatically put on their watch each morning, it is a decision they make, where as grabbing their smartphone is a requirement. How often have you found yourself without your iPhone or other smartphone and retreated to grab it before leaving the house? How many times have you actually left your home without your phone and turned around to return home to get it?

  • Nick Martin 3 years ago

    Love the last comment about leaving without your iPhone! Makes you feel completely naked hah 🙂 What has the world come to.