Thursday, November 4, 2010

The New Yorker Is No. 1 in Top 10 Apps Named; Deserves Kudos For Its Zany Demo, Too

Media consultants McPheters & Company named the 10 Best Apps in Publications this week, with top honors going to The New Yorker.

In second place is.....the other nine, all tied with scores of 13 out of 14.

“These apps represent the best of breed in iPad apps,” said company president Rebecca McPheters. “While the number of publication-related apps in the US is currently around 250, these truly stand out in terms of their ability to fully leverage the capabilities of this important new medium.”

The 10 Best Apps in Publications:
The New Yorker, scoring 14 out of 15
Food & Wine, 13
Fortune, 13
Intelligent Life, 13 (the Economist's quarterly “style and culture” magazine
Net-a-Porter, 13 (“online luxury fashion destination”)
Sports Illustrated, 13
Time, 13
USA Today, 13
Wired, 13
Wall Street Journal, 13

Apps were judged in three categories: “design, functionality and use of rich content.” A maximum score of 5 was given in each category, for a perfect score of 15. The New Yorker got 14.  Judges considered only publications distributed in the US, so the winners are the top 10 out of about 250. Worldwide, McPheters scrutinizes some 700 media-related apps as part of its iMonitor service.

McPheters & Company works with major media companies and ad agencies in strategic planning, media research and “accountability metrics.”

“Expansion of traditional media brands across evolving platforms” is the focus of much of the company's work.

The New Yorker's hysterically funny demo of its app on You Tube should get an award as well.  It features actor Jason Schwartzman rolling disheveled out of bed with iPad in hand.  He takes the viewer on a tour of the app while showering, smoking and drinking hard liquor in the kitchen, and coyly posed on a sofa with the iPad guarding his discretion.  The demo has been on You Tube since late September, with over 208,000 views to date.

Back on October 4, a New Yorker column by the editors announced the app and revealed their guarded uncertainty about it, and what the future will hold for magazines:

"We’re at once delighted and a little bewildered about this latest digital development and our place in it: delighted because of the quality of what the tablet provides and the speed with which the magazine can be distributed, but bewildered, too, because we’d be liars if we said we knew precisely where technology will lead."

The column includes tidbits of the charming antics of literary icons Dorothy Parker, E.B. White and founding editor Harold Ross.

"Right now," they continued, "editing for the iPad feels similar to making television shows just after the Second World War, when less than one per cent of American households owned a television. And yet the general flow of things is clear: the digital revolution is already both long-standing and swift; there will be many more iPads sold; and competitors will inevitably follow."

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