Rolling Stone co-founder dubs iPad rush "crazy"

The co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, Jann Wenner, can’t for the life of him work out why respectable magazines are fighting to give huge amounts of cash to Steve Jobs to stick their magazines on his tablet.

While he said he understood that publishers did not want to be be left behind the times on the digital revolution, Wenner can’t see what all the fuss is about with the iPad.

Wenner told AdAge‘s Nat Ives he thought publishers were “crazy” to be so keen to get their publications on the iPad.

He said that the magazine was going to get less money for it from advertisers., it costs a bomb to convert your magazine, to program it, to get all the things you have to do on there. Then to make managers worse they are not selling.

For 5,000 copies there, 3,000 copies here, the whole thing is just not worth it, he said.

Wenner co-launched Rolling Stone at age 20 and at a cost of just $7500. He thinks that publishers should chill out and think a bit before rushing to give all their cash to Jobs’ Mob.

He said publishers were being premature nd showing little confidence and faith in what they’ve really got.

Wenner said that in a few decades the online magazine will be there. There will be improvements in the delivery system, the screen will change, it will get lighter, whatever, and new people growing up will find that as a habit. He thinks it will be two generations before the shift happens.

In February, Apple launched its iTunes-App Store subscription model, a model which gives the Cupertino company a 30 percent cut of the takings for the privilege bringing your magazine into Jobs’s Mobs Walled Garden of Delights.

For some reason, the New Yorker magazine found its way onto the iPad, along with a host of other Condè Nast titles. Those subscribing to the print edition of The New Yorker receive both the iPad and web edition for free.