Google Offers Digitized Magazines
I have long held the theory and prophesized in this newsletter and elsewhere,
By Bob Sacks
Published: November 10, 2009
I have long held the theory and prophesized in this newsletter and elsewhere, that digital magazines will save our industry. Aggregated data and web sites are not the solution to our woes; paginated performance and delivery is. If there is a future for magazine publishers and you have a part in it, it is that simple.
There are many companies that provide digital magazines today and there might be many more on the horizon. Some will make the test of time and prosper and others will not. But those that survive will be part of our new infrastructure for a long time to come. In magazine geologic time, we are finally minutes away from the right-reading, easy-to-use digital substrate. When that happens, the brilliance of the digital magazine format will become clear to dullest of luddites. The magazine industry needs to be working on competent easy-to-read digital editions now that are built for the substrate that they live in.
There are good digital editions and there are terrible digital editions out there right now. The publishers that have retooled their content and designed their product for ease of use and ease of the reading experience are doing quite well.
One of the best examples that I know of is VIV magazine. They are pioneering the non-zoom-in digital edition. If you haven't seen it, please check it out. Look at the ads, look at the edit and look at the amazingly pleasant reading experience. Any topic can be covered this way. This just happens to be woman's fashion. Popular Science has done the same thing with their Popular Science Genius edition.
Google is getting onto the digital magazine space. We had best as publishers prepare our own editions of paginated media before someone else takes that space away from us. If we don't do our best to absolutely own that turf, someone else will.