The Greatest Revolution in Magazine History?

“We are at the advent of possibly the greatest creative revolution in the history of magazines…And magazine edit teams – writers, editors, videographers, photographers and graphic designers – are already creating tablet-friendly content that showcases the enduring qualities of magazine media: curated stories, long-form journalism, a strong sense of community, and award-winning photography and design.” So said Nina Link, CEO of the Association of Magazine Media, formerly the Magazine Publishers of America, in Media Life magazine, as quoted by The Wooden Horse News.

Computer Tablets

Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard, a company that designs magazine apps may not agree. He is quoted in Media Digest as telling the L.A. Times: “Online journalism is contaminated by the web factor. Articles are being condensed to narrow columns of text across 5, 6, 7 pages, and ads that are really distracting for the reader. …Journalism is being pushed into a space where I don’t think it should ever go. Where it is trying to support the monetization model of the web by driving page views. It means a drop-off in long-form journalism because it is harder to monetize.” Given the stretched-out articles, the time needed to download them and the distracting ads, McCue says, “it’s not a pleasant experience to ‘curl up’ with a good web site.”

Nonetheless, Car and Driver iPad app is up and running with all those graphic, video and interactive features that Ms. Link waxes about but David Link warned about in last month’s Newsletter. AWCom does not know if the two are related but they should talk. He says all the presumed savings in going digital will be consumed by bandwidth costs while consumers are being conditioned to getting all the digital bells and whistles for free. Well, almost. The Car and Driver app is a free download from the Itunes APP Store on IPad and each issue is $2.99 through In App Purchase.

Britain’s popular AutoCar also has gone digital for the iPad. For more digital startups see New Roads.  And, for how to monetize a web site, see Huffington Post’s purchase by AOL.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Russ Dodge

    The key phrase in this offering is “curling up.” We (or at least the older members of the press) have often “curled up” to a good book, or even a great magazine. (sometimes even a thick newspaper)

    While on-line “journalism” offers a lot of convenience, there is nothing to sit, savor and reflect involved in it. To borrow from a more crude reference, it’s more like “slam, bam, Thank you ma’am.”

    I fear the younger generation which only knows the internet, will avoid books and magazines as being “too slow” in their quest for information.

    I hope that books and magazines don’t go the way of the typewriter.

  2. Tom Kelley

    There is still much to be sorted out on both sides of the digital divide. With regard to layout/formatting, this interesting item from MIN Online arrived today:

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