The New York Times previews the new publication, noting that some content will be pulled from huffingtonpost.com, but other articles will also be “new and separate from that of the rest of the site”. The magazine, which is only available though the Apple store, will feature a mix of long-form pieces (of between 4,000 and 8,000 words), photos, commentary, reviews, illustrations, videos and data visualisations.
“From the beginning we wanted to do something that felt like a print magazine," says Huffington’s creative director Josh Klenert (formerly of Billboard), quoted by Joe Pompeo at Capital New York.
This ambition seems seem to have been successful: Lauren Indvik at Mashable compares the content of Huffington to that of Newsweek, and describes it as “clean, stylish and in-depth”. But despite the print comparisons, there is a strong interactive element to the app, which allows for outbound linking, live commenting and sharing, as Poynter describes.
Pompeo writes that the current format of the magazine represents a departure from the Huffington Post’s original plans. In March, Forbes reported that Huffington was conceived as a free app that would mirror the content from the website quite closely, with only a few original articles.
Huffington has a staff of 24 journalists and editors, and will be run by Timothy L. O’Brien, a former Times editor. Mashable notes that other former New York Times staff are also on board.
The first edition of the ipad magazine is free, after which Huffington will cost 99¢ an issue, $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year. The first month is free for monthly subscribers, and Pompeo notes that readers can get an extra free month if they hand over their post code and email addresses to the magazine – information that Apple does not automatically share with publishers.
The New York Times writes that first edition of Huffington is sponsored wholly by Toyota. Paul Carr at Pando Daily suggests that snagging this big backer on its first edition “bodes well” for the financial success of the magazine. The Times is more doubtful though, noting, “online magazines, like the News Corporation’s The Daily, have struggled to attract ads and attention.”
But Carr writes that Huffington can easily expect to break even, considering that its editorial costs will be kept low, since it will be using existing Huffington Post staff to create content. If the magazine is a success, he says that it is “inevitable” that the Huffington Post will launch more digital magazines in the same mould.
O'Brien certainly implies this is the case. “We have talked about having a stable of apps, a stable of magazines," he says, quoted by Capital New York, "That's something we're gonna be aggressive about."