Friday, July 23, 2010

In future all magazines will be digital ... and print

Some interesting thoughts from new PPA Chairman Barry McIlheney.

In this interview with Meg Carter from InPublishing he shares his views on print and digital, as well as outlining plans for a revitalised Periodical Publishers Association.

Mr Magazine (aka Professor Samir Husni of the Magazine Innovation Center might like to consider McIlheney's definition of a magazine:

"It's not just about saying magazines are great, but promoting high quality editorial content with a magazine heritage delivered across any platform. It sounds a mouthful, but I'm talking about the unique mix of words and pictures and the relationship with the consumer that 'magazine' means, and that’s a mix that doesn't just have to be delivered via paper and ink."
The magazine industry has gone beyond the old debate about whether you are a magazine or a digital enthusiast, he adds, and as an organisation, the PPA must similarly raise its game.  
PPA members will increasingly rely less on print - already the case for many B2B publishers, he readily concedes. But he doesn't see that will necessarily be the future for everyone. "One size does not fit all," he says. "Gradually over time other platforms grow, but there will always be fantastic products provided in print."
Types of launches may change. The old FMCG-style multi million pound TV and print launch extravaganza for a print-only product is probably not now the way forward. But we will see more launches, and we will see print-led offerings across multiple platforms. Because the starting point, irrespective of platform, remains the same: a really clever idea that will turn people on by appealing to their passions. And while there will be a growing need for technical people within publishing, there will still be a strong need for people with journalistic skills, creative ideas, flair, spark and - of course - consumer understanding." McIlheney adds that he will be watching closely uptake of the iPad which, he thinks, presents "a fantastic opportunity" for PPA members.

All quotes taken from:

For the record, this is Professor Husni's take on the subject:

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Daily Me idea resurfaces as a magazine

As PC World explains:
Major publishers have slowly been rolling out their visions of how an analog magazine should look and work in a digital world full of iPads. Flipboard, on the other hand, is a new type of digital publication for the iPad that wants to meld your news and social worlds into a sort of personalized magazine.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Virgin to launch Maverick magazine on iPad

Richard Branson's Virgin empire is never slow to jump on a bandwagon and now it is hopping aboard the iPad with a new magazine in app form. (I feel a neologism coming on – appazine?)

Maverick is due to launch later this year. Overseen by Holly Branson (relative) it "will aim to encapsulate the spirit of the Virgin brand by focusing on entrepreneurial endeavors and highlighting new creative, business, travel and technology ideas, targeting an upscale international audience" according to the first report in AdAge. The mix of content will put it into contention with "Fast Company and WIRED", says Mashable.

But there is a bit of magazine grit in the froth – Anthony Noguera, former editor of Arena and FHM, will be involved on the editorial side through his business Accelerated Intelligence and Seven Squared will supply the tech input for the app, which may be rolled out for other platforms such as Android and whatever else powers the tidal wave of tablets bearing down on us.

As you might expect with Branson, there's a sharp business angle. Whereas publishers with print products are loth to undercut them with their app versions, Virgin has nothing to lose and should be able to produce Maverick for a lower cost than its rivals.

There is also speculation that Virgin will use this opportunity to expand into magazine publishing more generally, with some commentators saying that Branson wants to compete with Bauer and IPC. Hmm, anyone for Virgin Cola?
Virgin ColaImage via Wikipedia

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