Sunday, 20 December 2009

The way forward: magazines on tablets

Here is something clever I read today on a growing number of magazines are considering some sort of digital platform to distribute their contents and some of the big publishers in the US are only months away from launching the first issue.

This is a change I’m personally looking forward to and applaud for many reasons. People are changing, lifestyles are changing. Yes, technology is developing fast, but we are also adopting fast. The human mind and capacity is amazing and we are certainly ready to embrace the glossy iconic magazines in digital. Or are we?

Many of us buy magazines for the sheer pleasure of looking at (and I’m primarily thinking of fashion magazines here, but this applies to many other categories as well) fabulous advertising executions,  high quality photos and images. Is technology truly ready to move that all digital?

After watching this brief video presentation (embedded below) by Sports Illustrated in the US, I really think it is. This will be so much more than a magazine as we know it. It will allow for more interaction, better content, customisable layout, and more of what most people want (photos and short form videos), just to name a few.

But then how is it different from getting this all on the web? Well two key things come to my mind: convenience and quality. You will be able to enjoy the content in the living-room, in transit, in a work break, or whenever and wherever you want – much like a magazine – once,  of course, the content has been downloaded. Which then takes me to quality. Once an issue has been downloaded, it will be on the tablet to enjoy in all it’s glory – no buffering, no waiting, no flickering: pure magazine quality.

As for advertisers, while the ad space, and pricing isn’t clearly defined yet (judging from the video presentation), I would imagine, that this new technology will allow for a plethora of new ad formats and execution options, as well as smart audience measurements, which should mean better targeting and higher yields. All in good time though, as with any new technology, it takes time to gather momentum and scale – both of which are essential to attract ad dollars.

But for now, let’s embrace at least the concept of the way forward: magazines on tablets.


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