iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Ramon Nuez

Ramon Nuez

Posted: March 18, 2010 04:10 PM

Why Change, Not The iPad, Will Save the Magazine

What's Your Reaction:

Many argue that the Apple iPad stands as the savior of the print industry. Some even genuflect at the mere mention of the name - "iPad." Yet, others are still uncertain and even skeptical that the iPad will make any difference. What has recently become undeniable is that the iPad will be a disruptive platform which reinvents content consumption and distribution. Magazines such as Wired, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and the New Yorker are currently building content for the iPad. They are hedging their company's future on strong weekend iPad sales.

It was reported that Apple sold an estimated 152, 000 iPads, this weekend. Katy Huberty, a Morgan Stanley analyst, explained that Apple will sell some six million iPads during calendar 2010. Although, some reports have indicated that sales have slowed significantly -- 1000 per hour, it would be impractical for magazine companies to ignore this potentially new revenue stream.

In a wonderful conversation with Anthea Stratigos, CEO of Outsell - she explains:

It is a game changer but it's not necessarily about the iPad. It's about the technology and its capabilities. It is the way that multimedia is coming into play. Now combine that with the continued evolution of content software and the hardware and you have an immersive user experience. Additionally, it will add value to the exciting new ways that users can consume and share information.

Mrs. Stratigos continues to explain that interactivity of the multimedia content is a key element. Without this crucial ingredient survivability of print companies is questionable.

Magazine executives are confused in what needs to be done to stem the erosion of the company's financial position. The traditional media landscape is crumbling under the weight of a dwindling business model. In a fight-or-flight response executives are choosing to charge more for content in a desperate effort not to become the next publication that stops publishing. In 2009, there were dozens of publications that stopped publishing most notably - Blender Magazine, Best Life Magazine, Hallmark Magazine and Domino. Making the situation worse, according to the Publisher Information Bureau - for 2009 advertising revenue fell 18.1% and advertising pages fell 25.6%, this is in comparison to 2008 figures.

There is truly no shortage of mainstream news that print publications are on a steady decline. This is further augmented by a perfect storm of a recession, 10% unemployment rate and the social web. It's no wonder why the iPad is viewed by many as their last best hope. As many publishers continue to struggle with "where did it all go wrong" - Wired and Alexx Henry Photography understand that the iPad platform must be leveraged.

Wired and Alexx Henry Photography are fearless in their vision. They fully comprehend what a magazine or an advertisement will look like on the iPad platform. Both companies are presenting an interactive - multimedia rich experience that is part magazine, part movie and completely engaging. You can take a look at what Wired has done - here. You can also catch a glance at what Alexx Henry Photography has done - here.

Until the iPad becomes available on April 3rd it will be unclear what impact if any it will have. One thing is certian above all else

...it will all come down to a change of mindset and those companies that embrace change will survive; those that don't will not be here.

-- Anthea Stratigos

 

Follow Ramon Nuez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ramonbnuezjr