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Major publishers collaborating on "Hulu for magazines"

Major magazine publishers know they're in trouble. Mags have been shutting down all over the place during the past year, and the rise of blogs and eReaders continues apace. A group of publishers including Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time Inc. has combined to launch a digital delivery system for magazines that has been compared to both iTunes and the popular streaming TV site Hulu.

The service has no name yet, but it will deliver magazines - and advertising, of course - to eReaders, mobile devices and laptops, staying true to the mags' print layouts. Other publishers will be able to join the platform eventually (hey, it can't hurt to offer more content), and it might expand beyond magazines eventually.

As Valleywag points out, the challenge of this venture is to consolidate the userbase behind one device and corresponding delivery mechanism, like Apple did with iTunes and the iPod. Magazine publishers might not be the ones to do that, considering how clueless they've been in the print business. Plus, Hearst is also involved in a service called Skiff, that launched a week ago, uses Sprint's 3G network, and seems to be a competitor with this nameless new magazine platform.

[via Mashable]

Tags: digital distribution, DigitalDistribution, ereader, hulu, itunes, magazines, print, publishers

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