The iPad magazine cover – lovely, but pointless

VIV Mag Motion Cover – iPad Demo from Alexx Henry on Vimeo.

The bit of spectacular video above is doing the rounds as I type – a mock-up/demo of how a “motion magazine cover” might work on an iPad.

It’s lovely. But pointless.

What does it prove? It proves that magazines could do spectacular things with the iPad. It is, essentially, an advert masquerading as a magazine cover.

But then, magazine covers have always been adverts for their contents – and it’s a curiously old-media approach to focus so much energy on the front cover when, online, the majority of users typically never touch your homepage (will the iPad change that? I’m sceptical).

In fact, I wonder if a user on the bus would grow impatient with such an overblown introduction to their magazine.

It reminds me of those Flash-heavy ‘splash pages‘ that websites used to employ to impress users – but which ultimately ended up frustrating them.

So it’s lovely, but it doesn’t solve any fundamental problems publishing faces right now. The iPad ain’t no silver bullet: the old problems haven’t gone away – an oversupply of information, oversupply of ad space, and a proliferation of alternatives to spend our entertainment budget on.

If anything, the iPad is a silver bullet to the head: with Apple keeping hold of user data, and insisting on the lion’s share of cover sale revenue, publishers are not going to be queueing up to join their gated paradise.

15 thoughts on “The iPad magazine cover – lovely, but pointless

  1. Jonathon Oake

    totally agree that the iPad is far from being a silver bullet for the publuishing industry (have argued the same here http://bit.ly/9pnzjD), but I’m not sure the magazine cover is totally pointless …

    … one of the hopes is that the iPad will be a transformative device that will actually change the way people interact with online content. Of course, no-one nowadays would want to sit back and read a magazine on their laptop, but by the same token no-one would really have wanted to try and watch video on their mobile a couple years ago. The iPhone changed that, and the hope is that people will want to pay for a magazine app on the iPad, and read it front to back. I don’t see why it can’t work, I quite like the idea, and I’m looking forward to getting an iPad and using the guardian app

    Reply
  2. JC Hewitt

    This is a beautiful package for a depreciating product. Old-style advertising is becoming less valuable as companies continue to gain new channels for reaching customers.

    The iPad won’t change that.

    Reply
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  13. Paul Bradshaw

    I’m prepared to revise my opinion – it seems Apple may be open to some data sharing, and it also seems some advertisers are already stupid enough to start throwing money at this thing (I guess at this early stage you can assume iPad owners are wealthy without having the data)

    Reply
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