The cover of a celebrity magazine is crucial when it comes to sales. It will play an even larger roll on the iPad starting in 2011. Here's how:
Publishers will Develop Multiple Covers for the IPad
It's no secret many celebrity magazine readers will only purchase a magazine on the newsstand when one of their favorite celebrities is on the cover.
Look for smart magazine editors to create star-focused covers for their IPad Applications. As a result, when you go to purchase the latest issue of Us Weekly or InTouch on the IPad, you will begin to see multiple covers for a single issue and/or App.
Editors Will Distribute Covers Via the iPad for Research Purposes
Most editors develop a variety of cover drafts before they decide on the final cover. I predict you will see editors, especially in the weekly space, sending out these test covers via the IPad in 2011.
This method will become an essential research approach, which will allow editors to determine the level of interest in a story before they close their issue. Plus, this will be a more time and cost-effective way of doing research compared to traditional focus group models.
What if the competition sees your cover? Of course, this is a big concern but editors can shape their stories much differently for the print issue. At the end of the day, I believe the research will primarily focus on how readers react to certain celebrities and topics versus the exact cover treatment. Of course, there will be cases when stories are too sensitive to send out via the IPad.
Advertisers Will Be Offered Innovative Cover Spots and Publishers Will Enjoy New Revenues from the Cover
The mere suggestion of placing advertising on the cover of a magazine makes many editors cringe in disgust. But, the IPad will present a myriad of new non-offensive opportunities for publishers to offer innovative advertising opportunities on IPad covers, from links to environmental placements.
It's clear publishers who ignore the potential in utilizing covers on the IPad are missing a big opportunity to improve their print product as well as building valuable new revenue streams.
Mark Pasetsky is the founder and editorial director for CoverAwards.com, the world's number one site focused on delivering news and opinion on today's hottest covers. Mark Pasetsky also serves as a cover consultant to publishers around the world.