Well, it’s now official. I was tipped off about this from one of my instructors, who works at GQ, and the Wall Street Journal has the story:
Four major magazine publishers and News Corp. are set to unveil a joint venture to prepare print publications for a new generation of electronic readers and other digital devices, as media companies team up to tackle vexing industry issues…It will be jointly owned by News Corp., Time Warner Inc.’s Time Inc., Condé Nast Publications Inc., Hearst Corp. and Meredith Corp.
And there we have it. Some 10 years later, the media organizations are finally starting to embrace the online world and new forms of media.
This is good to see, even if not everybody agrees with it. But if you take a look at some of the examples of this new type of media, for example the Sports Illustrated one, you can see that there are going to be a lot more interaction than just putting the print version onto a tablet or iPhone. Drastic changes are going to be needed to fix the current crises that newspapers and magazines are facing, innovative ideas like this are one way that they’ll be able to overcome the hole they dug themselves in 10 years ago.
Now the magazines and other publications have to get creative, very creative. If there is mention of a great sports play, like in SI, have a link, button or video of it that allows the reader to actually see the play. Allow the reader (user) interact even more. The more the magazine looks like a program and less like a print version of the magazine online, the more likely readers (users) will be to buy the product. Give them something more than just words.
There’s still a lot that publications have to learn, but they’re heading in the right direction.