The magazine industry has been a stubborn mule throughout the years, it could afford this luxury with standard advertising supporting the standard print circulation. But things have changed, technology is suffocating the print industry. This isn’t groundbreaking news I’m writing, a change has been forthcoming. It’s easy to speculate and ask “Why haven’t magazines been using technological platforms already?” That’s a fair question. From what I can see they have been waiting for a platform; and the iPhone is portable, available, cool and way more convenient to carry around than a magazine. The idea makes since, with digital devices like the iPhone, Droid and iPad becoming so popular, why pick up an old magazine at a doctor’s office when you can read the current issue on your digital device. Better yet, why just read a magazine when you can view pictures, watch videos, play games or take polls that an online magazine will offer. This all sounds really cool right? And it is, but how different is an online magazine than a website? Watch this sneak preview of Sports Illustrated.
Really cool stuff, you can check out the latest scores, find pictures for the weekend games, read articles that you would read in the actual Sports Illustrated Magazine. But what separates this from a website? I guess it’s all in one place, and you can virtually turn the pages. It is a little more art focused. But take for example Espn.com and Espn the magazine. How would Espn the virtual magazine be any different from their website? If anything the articles written for the magazines are weeks old, so your not even getting the most current news anymore. I am not knocking the online magazine idea, it already exists with newspapers and other online magazines, here’s an example of time’ s online magazine: http://www.time.com/time/magazine
It’s basically a table of contents that lets you open any article that you find interesting. The advertisements are still on the side of the browser just like a normal website. In the SI issue the ad’s are exactly as they would be in a physical magazine. But advertisements work mostly in your subconscious, you see a watch in a store that looks familiar because you have seen it in half a dozen ads, so you think you like it, and for the advertiser’s sake, possibly purchase the watch. My question is: If you know there is an ad on the next digital page who would turn to it to watch a video about that product? Few would, most people read magazines for the content not to be sold something. Advertisers may need to re work a few things to ensure they get the audience they need. So, what do you think, how are digital magazines different from websites? Do you think magazines going digital is a good idea? And how is this going to affect future journalists?