Earlier today, I got a look at Time Inc’s new digital magazine concept. While I was there I captured some of the demo on video. Actually, Sports Illustrated editor Terry McDonell was kind enough to shoot the video above while I played with a prototype version of the tablet mag showing an SI issue on an HP tablet computer with a touchscreen.
You can see how quickly the digital magazine lets me swipe through pages and photo slides, and get a general idea about some of the navigation elements. When you tap on a page, a navigation wheel pops up with different sharing options and ways to call up additional information, live stats, photos, and videos. The voice explaining the features belongs to David Link of the Wonderfactory, who did much of the conceptual design.
In the next video, you can see an example of how the digital magazine can embed entire photo slide shows where a single photo would normally be in a print magazine, as well as some of the other photo gallery options. Sports photos are still a huge reason people buy Sports Illustrated and go to its Website. At about 46 seconds into the video, McDonell starts talking about how this format is better suited to viewing photos and how it could theoretically allow Sports Illustrated to show readers more of the photos which never otherwise make it into the magazine. He also reveals some findings from focus groups Time Inc has been conducting in which it asks whether consumers would be willing to pay extra for a digital version of the magazine. McDonell says that some indicated they’d be willing to pay $50 more a year for the digital version, although the official pricing has not yet been determined.
Below is Time Inc’s official demo video, which is a much slicker production, as well as a video of Condé Nast’s digital version of Wired for comparison as displayed in a loud retail store (it’s the Wired store in NYC). If magazines were repackaged as digital apps would you buy them?