The iPad Has Yet to Kill Magazines

Apple launched it’s long awaited iPad earlier this year and during that presentation Steve Jobs showed the many different tasks that the new to the world piece of technology is capable of. A free app called iBook allows users to sync in their latest and greatest fiction or non-fiction novels but just as the apps name suggests it completely leaves out periodicals. Despite the iPad’s 9.7 inch color screen, crisp photo and smooth video capability, it’s ability to display typography elegantly; Apple left one thing out: an e-reader software designed with magazines in mind.

Magazines, just like other forms of periodicals ie. newspapers, are a dying breed. News driven magazines have been hit the hardest with the major news Magazines “Businessweek” and “Forbes” taking more than a 50% decrease in sales from 2008 to 2009. Given the fact that everything in today’s age is accessible online for free why wouldn’t the average joe just use their internet connection and digitally flip through pages upon pages of content right at their finger tips practically instantaneously. But without a venue to hold that content digitally and give them the versatility to take their favorite publication on the go were still left to hit our local magazine stand and purchase a hard copy.

The challenge has been left up to the magazine publishers to create a digital outlet for their product, but is it worth the cost? In March of this year, online magazine VIVmag created an app to hold magazine content on the iPad. Questioning the expense of this new creation, Jeanniey Mullen, CMO of the magazine’s distributor, Zino, said it was not even 100k.  Even with the iPad introducing the possibility of reaching a wider audience than ever before, 100k to a smaller publication is a price not too many I’m sure are willing to invest their money into.

So what is left to do? Not all companies can afford the start up of a online app, companies still aren’t paying as much for advertisements because of the lack of publication sales…my guess is that publishers who do try and make the leap to digital and handle the challenge put in front of them will not see any immediate financial benefits. But they might just be getting something better out of the deal; a chance to reimagine and reinvent their publications content and their business on a device that offers endless amounts of possibilities for both.

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3 Responses to The iPad Has Yet to Kill Magazines

  1. randybcho says:

    Digital readers such as the iPad and the Kindle may not kill magazines per se, but they can put print to an end. With the popularity of getting news conveniently on the web and saving paper, we may be alive to see the end of print. Companies can still survive with the end of print. It’s all about adjusting to new technologies and different avenues of getting information.

  2. jrenee21 says:

    Technology is advancing everyday. People are not afraid of learning about a computer, etc. With the ipad, yes it will become a very popular item, but people that are really into books or print will stick the the original material (books, magazines, and newspaper). Even with the i pad, the screen will damage you eyes over time because your starring into a smaller computer screen, where as the Kindle, the Nook, and the sony e reader have the screen made to look as if you are reading a book, but they do not have a Web Browser. The ipad will not kill anything, it is just another peice of technology that we as consumers can buy until the next and latest great product.

  3. cvelazquez1 says:

    This could be just me being optimistic but I don’t think that magazines will ever fad as a result of technological gadgets such as the iPad. Not all magazine publishers can afford to go digital and I agree with jrenee21 in saying that the avid and true magazine readers will continue to buy the original hard copy rather then reading it online. I have not seen anyone with any of the new gadgets such as Nook or the iBook. Just because these products exist, doesn’t mean that the originals have to go out of business. Magazines are here to stay.

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