Every time I travel I do an unscientific check of the readers on the plane. I always find that newspapers and magazines beat digital platforms. Twice I’ve sat next to someone with a digital device – a Kindle and an iPad — and one of them showed me how the magazine reading experience with the ads, photos and all was awesome. The features, too!
This kerfuffle over GQ’s photo spread seems to suggest something I typically refuse to believe –magazine junkie that I am –that magazines will try anything to stay alive.
The photos that have angered many, are part of a story on Glee, the TV show, The Parent’s Television Council (PTC) has come out strongly against the issue, accusing it of borderline pedophilia. Are magazines that desperate? Or is being borderline something, anything the only way to stay relevant? This is not the stuff of controversial magazine covers, a common technique since George Lois’ time, and before.
Maybe some magazines are engaging this kind of risky business as they find their footing in the myriad of digital platforms available. Two clues as to where this is headed:
- New Niches: See this interview by Tom Wallace, the Conde Nast editorial director. He talks about using digital to reach audiences that magazines have been unable to reach. Maybe next year this time my in-flight survey will have different results…
- Rich Platforms: Apple may be offering struggling pubs a lifeline with their ’rich-media wrappers for e-books and e-magazines.’ The iPad is obviously a precursor to the new home of –and reading experience –for magazines.
So indeed, magazines need not be so desperate. For now, some of them are just borderline …obnoxious.
Interesting sidebar: One of my favorite digital commentators, Guy Mullins, has a different take on the eco-system that Apple is building. I’ve met a few Apple users who are similarly concerned. What do you think?
the rumors are true (@ Neighbor from the 90′s)...
Sorry to see you go. avic-x920bt
First the Space Shuttle program and now this???? OH NO!...
I think it’s really funny that Jason donates money...
Sad to see you go Mr Len… been a great ride
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