Co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, Jann Wenner, believes the death of the print media is decades away, and says magazine publishers are crazy for embracing the iPad.
In an interview with Ad Age Wenner said publishers are being motivated by "insecurity and fear," and are throwing away their magazine businesses by already selling digital subscriptions through iTunes.
"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 doesn't believe the amount of magazines sold digitally makes it worth surrendering to Apple so fast. He said the publishing industry should look at the music industry who were too quick to giveaway digital sales to Apple. "The music business more screwed itself than Apple screwed it," Wenner said. "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."
This doesn't mean Rolling Stone will never make the digital leap. In Wenner's opinion it will take a generation or two before print media is totally dead, and he's just in no rush to mortgage his future away.
"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."