PART OF THE COSMOS: Cosmopolitan’s first iPad app, “The Showcase Edition,” will go up for sale on iTunes later this week. “Unlike almost everything you’re seeing out there, there’s tons of functionality,” said editor in chief Kate White, showing off the app last week in her office. “This is a favorite — ‘Decode His Bedroom Sounds,’” White continued. She tapped the screen and turned up the volume. “Let’s say my guy is a ‘loud moaner.’” Unholy sounds issued from the device.
The app is surprisingly innovative — it’s cleverly interactive, despite being a faithful synthesis of the Cosmopolitan brand, which has always seemed more interested in mass-scale newsstand triumph than technological innovation. One page live-streams data like a stock ticker from a survey on Esquire’s Web site about what DVD men are most interested in renting. Another page presents a typical magazine quiz, “Are you a gutsy chick?,” and tallies the results instantly. There are also plenty of photos of shirtless men. But one thing is absent from the app: articles. As White flipped through, it seemed like only two screens in the app are dedicated to writing. The app will be updated every month with some, but not all, of the magazine’s content.
This story first appeared in the March 14, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Asked if she was worried the app might be too raunchy, she said, “No, we don’t cross any line like that. The guiding principle we had was: We’re a mainstream magazine.” The app will cost $2.99. Marisa Ollins, a spokeswoman for Hearst, said the app won’t be available in the Android Market, but later apps from the magazine will.
The app also represents a step forward for Hearst on the business side. Publisher Donna Kalajian Lagani created an in-app marketplace for advertisers called the Cosmopolitan Boulevard. Last Wednesday at the Bloomberg Media Summit, Hearst Magazines president David Carey said his company will be creating more opportunities to sell advertiser’s products on the iPad. “If you talk to the people at Net-a-porter or the people at Gilt, they say they’re increasingly commerce companies moving into content, and I think what you’re going to find is content companies are going to move into commerce,” he said. “They trust us with those recommendations, and I think we have to find the proper ways, again, to monetize that.
“So you can imagine the day that 20 or 25 percent of our circulation can be in tablet form,” Carey continued, “and you see the beautiful men’s suit from Zegna available at Saks Fifth Avenue. It’s a service to the reader that they can just click on that and to be able to buy it.”
— ZEKE TURNER
OFF THE WALL: “I’d say my number-one source of inspiration comes from what I see on the streets,” said Italo Zucchelli, men’s wear designer for Calvin Klein, during a party held in the brand’s Madison Avenue store on Thursday. With one show behind him already this year and another that will take place in three months in Milan, inspiration needs to come in high doses. Perhaps this is one reason the brand partnered with Details on its foray into street art as part of the magazine’s Details Guild initiative.
On a wall across from The Standard in the Meatpacking District, the title is giving street artists, such as Nate Lowman, a place to showcase their work. Details is selling reproductions of it all (Lowman’s work sold out in four days). Last week, Gardar Eide Einarsson installed new work on the wall. His pieces typically sell for around $45,000, but 100 signed editions of the wall installation are available for $250 on thedetailsguild.com (seven were sold at the event). Publisher Paul Jowdy said the Details Guild is one of many factors helping boost ad pages, noting that the May issue (his first stamp on the magazine since joining from Bon Appétit) will be up well over 50 percent versus last year.
— AMY WICKS