There was much clamour last year when Conde Nast announced the closure of specialist food title Gourmet. Now the magazine has been resurrected as an app and new website, Gourmet Live. Both will make use of Gourmet’s archive of material, but the app, which will be launched towards the end of the year, will feature new, bespoke content for iPad and tablet readers, the video below suggests:
“Because Condé Nast already has one strong-selling food magazine, Bon Appetit, it can afford to experiment with the Gourmet brand a little. What Conde Nast may discover is a new model for delivering the premium content of its magazines,” reports Mashable.
The free-to-download app will prompt users to pay for additional services and content and is promising a rewards system for readers. But as Lloyd Shepherd suggests is this a “gaming” element or ‘iFeudalism’?
Gourmet Live is hiding some content from most users (so isn’t this a kind of paywall I can’t see?). And if I do things in a certain Gourmet-approved kind of way, I get to see that content.
This is wrong for two reasons. One, it hides content away, so all the paywall arguments apply here, but doubly so, because at least there’s a simple way to unlock paywalled content – by paying. Here, I have to jump through some hoops.
And there’s the second problem. It changes the relationship between publisher and reader. It makes the reader a kind of supplicant, willing to perform tasks to get treats. And, frankly, it’s just a magazine, you know? Who can be bothered?
- The end of Gourmet – a photographic view
- Martin Cloake: Conde Nast mag closures and ‘unreasonable optimism’
- Gourmet closure: does this sound the death knell for special interest magazines?
- Food journalists launch Zester Daily to combat loss of Gourmet
- New York Observer: Ruth Reichl on Gourmet’s closure – ‘Our circulation had never been better’