Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner is not crazy about Apple's iPad

May 31, 2011: 7:22 AM ET

Tells Ad Age that the rush to put magazines on tablets is "sheer insanity and insecurity and fear"

Images: Apple Inc., Gawker

Jann Wenner, who has done his share of celebrity interviews for Rolling Stone (Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Barack Obama, etc.), knows how to give a good one, and his Q&A in the current issue of Ad Age is a doozy.

As it happens, he spends much of it talking Apple (AAPL) and the iPad. Among the soundbites:

  • "At some point I'm sure [Rolling Stone] will be on the iPad but I'm not in any rush to break what I consider fundamental principles of what the magazine industry has to have and make a deal with Apple that will mortgage me into the future on the basis of getting 2,000 copies sold a month."
  • "[Apple's] story is simple. They want to go knock off the weakest of the big guys and then use that as a lever. They were having no success with Time Inc., because they weren't going to give, so they went to Hearst."
  • "The music business more screwed itself than Apple screwed it... I think Apple's within its rights to do what they decided to do. They wanted to control pricing. The music business failed to do those things."
  • "To rush to throw away your magazine business and move it on the iPad is just sheer insanity and insecurity and fear. And because it coincided with the ad recession, they conflated the two events until they themselves believed that magazines are dead."

Wenner can be a blowhard, but he knows a thing or two about the magazine business. You can read the rest of his Ad Age interview here.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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