We've been among those forecasting that the addition of touchscreen visual journalism -- especially video -- is going to compel people to fork over a few bucks, either for each issue or for an extended subscription. That's partly because audiences are already in the habit of buying apps with the push of a button, even as they've lost their desire to purchase publications on newsstands and magazine racks.
As we've been predicting all along, iTunes will do for print what it did for music. Smart publishers will get on board early.
One such publisher that has vindicated our vision is Conde Nast, whose upscale titles include Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and GQ (which already publishes iPhone/iPod Touch app versions of its issues).
First out of the chute for iPad conversion is, appropriately, their premiere tech title, Wired. Editor-in-Chief Chris Anderson announced at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference on Friday that the publication would be releasing its content for the iPad by summer.
Anderson said the iPad allows periodicals for the first time to do digital content with all of the same values and artistic range that are the hallmark of print magazines. Wired Creative Director Scott Dadich worked with Jeremy Clark from Adobe (pictured) over the last six months to design the Wired iPad Magazine. [Ed. note: Couldn't they have displayed a more optimistic headline?]Naturally, the best part, from our perspective, will be the inclusion of video. Touch a photo of a product being reviewed, and you'll get a video report about it -- a feature that will be especially enticing to advertisers.
Readers can sift through the contents horizontally and when they find an article they want to read, touch and drag their finger on the first page vertically to browse through the pages up and down. They can also turn the device horizontally to take advantage of the automatically-rotating display to view two pages side by side like a magazine and zoom out to see thumbnails of the content all at once.
And of course another big advantage over print is that the portable digital version can be offered for a fraction of the subscription price, which runs as high as $70/year for overseas addresses.
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