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Ipad and digital magazines

godisaDJ

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Hello there,

I'm currently in the planning stages of a Masters dissertation related to automotive journalism, and am thinking along the lines of research into how the Ipad is used currently for digital magazines, and how a motoring magazine could best use the technology. Being completely new to the Ipad, I thought I'd ask a few questions in here.

Firstly, which (if any) magazines do you guys read on your Ipad and why do u read it on the Ipad as opposed to in print?

Which magazines do you feel make best use of the technology, and how do they do so?

The only real interaction I have had with an Ipad magazine is that of 'EVO', a UK based motoring mag that has ported to Ipad meaning they can embed video and audio content. Is that the scope of Ipad magazines at the moment? Is there any developments on the horizon which would mean greater innovation in digital magazines of this type?

My overall idea is to propose a 'virtual showroom' type application, which would complement the print magazine and website of 'WhatCar?' - a consumer car buyers guide. The aim being that prospective buyers would be able to pull up salient facts about the models they are looking at at touch of a ,er, screen. Is that currently a potentially feasible application that would be suited to an Ipad?

Apologies if this sounds like a ramble, Im trying to sort ideas in my head a little at the moment, but would appreciate your feedback.

Cheers,
DJ
 

mac

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Digital magazines have been a bit of a flop so far. Speak to any of the large publishers. They generally use services like Zinio for their own use - mainly for their sales people when they're on the road so they don't need to carry a heavy bundle of paper copies around. They sell very few copies through the service. And specific iPad editions are already starting to get pulled by publishers - at least over here - because they're sucking a lot of resources for very little return. Some are doing okay, but most are struggling. Paper is still more convenient for the average reader, and the potential universe is orders of magnitude greater than the iPad universe.

The virtual showroom idea is interesting, but I'm not sure a car magazine would be prepared to invest in it on their own. At least not for purely iPad use. It would make more sense as a web application that is available to all web users on any platform, thus reaching a wider audience. I guess it could be affiliated and sponsored by a magazine, and manufacturers could pay to be included within it.

One interesting car idea I heard recently for the iPad involved using the iPad as a steering wheel allowing you to virtually drive a car with a view thorough the windscreen in one mode. In another mode you could move the tablet around and look around the interior, pressing buttons, etc to see how things worked. Sort of allow you to have a virtual test drive.

There are a number of scenarios where digital magazines can work extremely well, find a big audience and generate a lot of additional revenue for publishers, but it takes a bit of a lateral viewpoint to spot them. The iPad and other tablets definitely help, but you shouldn't forget the rest of the computer universe because they contribute a lot of eyeballs.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 

iVan

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I use Zinio for my mags and a few others that have their own app.

I read Eco Car from down under, a mag I can't get in Canada.

If you want an idea about interactive magazine get yourself a subscription to National Geographic. Their ideas are very fresh and novel.

iOS 5 will have a mag store like iBooks Store. You should take a look in that direction.

Btw. When I do a mag demonstration on the iPad it's when I get the most ooohs! and aaahs!
 

swruss

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I've read some GQ and Esquire spreads on the iPad though I'm positive they were full issues or simply excerpts (I think full issue). Pretty satisfied with it, actually, and I think your digital showroom idea is a good one; imagine if you could see a suit or a tie or a computer that you like in a magazine, click on it, and immediately be taken to that very product's page in an online store.
 

emm

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I've read some GQ and Esquire spreads on the iPad though I'm positive they were full issues or simply excerpts (I think full issue). Pretty satisfied with it, actually, and I think your digital showroom idea is a good one; imagine if you could see a suit or a tie or a computer that you like in a magazine, click on it, and immediately be taken to that very product's page in an online store.

I bought the first Esquire issue when it came out on the ipad and was amazed at the car ads it had. You were behind the wheel, audio and visually. Ipad is a sleek platform for magazines and ads. The other poster is wrong about publishers not embracing this new technology. Simply not true!
 

mac

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The other poster is wrong about publishers not embracing this new technology. Simply not true!

I'm guessing that this relates to my earlier post, though I never said publishers are not embracing the technology. The reality is that many embraced it when the iPad first appeared and are now going cold on it. At least over here. We're already seeing a number of magazines dumping their iPad editions because the numbers just don't stack up.

A useful trick is to type 'ipad magazine sales' into Google and see what comes up.

godisaDJ: In order to get a good idea of what's really going on give a few of the big media agencies in the UK a call. Frank Harrison is head of research at ZenithOptimedia and is very knowledgeable. Or try Carat, Mindshare or Starcom. The publishers are unlikely to give you a totally objective view of their iPad sales, but the media agencies should.

Personally, I actually see a huge potential for digital magazines. I think it could be a billion dollar industry on its own. But not the way it's currently being sold.
 

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