In a rather unexpected about-face, Rolling Stone's parent company, Wenner Media, has announced that the iconic music magazine will soon be available on the iPad. But first, it's porting The Beatles: The Ultimate Album-by-Album Guide to Apple's tablet — like this week.
Wenner Media announced that the Beatles guide will be available as a $US10 app and contain the same content — 60 photos and 122 pages — as the book, which was released this summer. It has been optimised form the iPad and also includes 30-second samples for every song with the option to purchase each song through iTunes. The app will be available from iTunes on December 1.
The publishing company also announced that both Rolling Stone and US Weekly will be available as "full digital magazine replica apps" beginning in 2012. This marks a significant departure from the publisher's previously conservative stance, epitomised by founder Jann Wenner's railing against the industry to AdAge as, "prematurely rushing [to create tablet versions of their titles] and showing little confidence and faith in what they've really got, their real asset, which is the magazine itself." There's no word on whether or not the magazines will receive an official port to Android devices, though replica apps do already exist for the Nook, Fire and Zinio.
With some of the biggest names in traditional publishing jumping on the tablet band wagon, the scales are clearly tipping in favour of new distribution methods. But what do you think? Would you prefer to get your music news on your iPad or at the newsstand? [moconews via electronista]