Perusing the entire print history of the New Yorker, flipping through decades upon decades of the magazine's reportage, could once have been accomplished only in some stuffy room in the Condé Nast building—until 2005, when Bondi Digital released a searchable DVD set of the magazine's archives. The Complete New Yorker, which collected more than 4,000 issues of the venerable publication, allowed readers to digitally browse more than half a million pages from the magazine, appearing in their original format, with artwork and ads intact. That project has led Bondi to strike out on its own; now the digital publisher has a distributor and a handful of new deals with other magazines looking to catalogue their past.
After signing a similar deal in February with Playboy to create a series of DVD boxed sets featuring stories and pinups from the magazine in packages compiled by decade, Bondi has announced a distribution deal with Perseus and a new publishing deal with Rolling Stone. For the Rolling Stone package—dubbed Rolling Stone Cover-to-Cover: The First 40 Years—Bondi will be getting the product to stores through Perseus and working with Wenner Media (the magazine's parent) to market it.
The Rolling Stone package, which will feature three DVDs and a 200-page companion book highlighting the magazine's memorable covers, will retail for $125 and comes in a gift case. It's set for an October publication, to coincide with the magazine's 40th anniversary (as well as the holiday shopping season), and Bondi cofounder David Anthony is hoping to get strong front-of-store displays. "It's a beautiful book and also powerful software, so we're definitely looking to work with retailers to help make sense of that," he said. Playboy: The 50s,priced at $100,will also bow in October.
Bondi, which is based in New York and which Anthony started with partner Murat Aktar, is unusual in that in creates both a consumer product and an internal database. On the New Yorker project, Bondi created the DVDs and gave the magazine's staff access to that same archive. "Part of the benefit of working with us is that we provide network software these magazines can use internally," Anthony said, noting that Bondi still works with the New Yorker on the software, much like an offsite IT team.
Anthony and Aktar, who both have backgrounds in digital media conversion—the duo's first company, Metropolis DVD, worked with media giants like Viacom and Paramount to create anthology music DVDs—are now talking to other magazine publishers about similar archival projects. Anthony would not release specific details on Bondi's potential clients but said that deals with "a number of large consumer magazines are in the works." He added that Bondi's also been speaking with European publishers about projects.