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20 Dec, 2009

The future of magazines?

Posted by: admin In: Creative Review

London-based BERG demonstrate the potential of tablet devices to deliver a rich experience for magazine lovers

Magazine publishers are getting very excited about the potential of iPhone Apps, but far better experiences may be on the way with the imminent arrival of tablet devices. In this hugely impressive video, BERG walk us through their ideas for how magazines may work on such a device.

<object width=”400″ height=”225″><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=8217311&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=ffffff&amp;fullscreen=1″ /><embed src=”http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=8217311&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=ffffff&amp;fullscreen=1″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=”true” allowscriptaccess=”always” width=”400″ height=”225″></embed></object><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/8217311″>Mag+</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/bonnier”>Bonnier</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

As this Guardian story notes, this isn’t just pie in the sky conceptualising but part of serious research commissioned by Swedish publisher Bonnier, which believes that such devices will be in use in two years’ time.

The BERG concept certainly seems more considered than this idea for Sports Illustrated that has recently done the rounds online.

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BERG make some very good points about the nature of magazines and how that might translate online – how readers like to feel that there is a beginning and an end to reading a magazine in contrast to the endless streams of content available via, for example, RSS feeds, and how enjoyable the physical act of flipping between pages can be.

For publishers, such a package of content, that marries a magazine-like experience with the connectivity of the web (by allowing instant updates, commenting, links etc) offers a far better prospect that websites. As iPhone apps have shown, people will pay for content when it is packaged up and distributed like a product. Just like they do in print.

There is more discussion about what is being termed the Mag+ project at Bonnier’s R&D Beta Lab here

Jeremy Leslie will be writing about these developments in an article for the February issue of CR.

 

 

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