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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