cominer

Posts Tagged ‘time magazine’

For Entertainment Weekly, Tag is It

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

Well, maybe.

The New Issue of EW has been "Tag"-ed

While there has been a lot of focus on magazines developing “app” versions of their magazines as they try to find new ways to reach readers — Time Magazine has done it, GQ has done it, just to name two of many —   some still believe that there’s something to be said for holding the thing in your hand and flipping through the pages.

At the same time, they recognize that maybe there’s some middle ground incorporating the print version of the magazine and the ability to go online for a little extra content.

So, welcome to Microsoft Tag.

In Microsoft hyperbole terms, Tag is “a breakthrough technology that transforms everyday things in the real world into live links to online information and entertainment.”

In normal speak, it’s a souped-up barcode that — after software is downloaded — allows for more much information and takes pretty much any reader with a camera-enhanced phone that can surf the web to make the journey from print to online.

While Tags have generally been used in advertising, Entertainment Weekly, which is out today with their summer movie preview, is taking a big step forward incorporating them into editorial content — allowing readers to jump from the page to trailers for 20 of the previewed films.

In addition to the trailers, readers will be able to visit “Tag”ed content from five advertisers.

While EW’s first effort with a new technology wasn’t as successful as they had hoped — according to Mediaweek, only about 5,000 people (out of EW’s 10 million-plus readers) made the digital jump when they worked with a different vendor — they think they’ve got the kinks worked out and more issues should be on their way.

Entertainment Weekly is saying that this first time anyone has used third party video content within edit though it is worth mentioning that Golf Digest used Tags in their November issue to allow readers to see extra content such as video of lessons being described.

So, what’s it all mean? Is having Tag technology going to save magazines? Who knows.

Here’s the thing… a couple of years ago, Gawker reported a rumor that EW was considering going online-only like the Christian Science Monitor. They actually didn’t appear to mean anything bad by it… they were saying the magazine’s ad pages were down (important to note they are back up; a spokesman says up from last year so far) and circulation while very good, was somewhat stagnant (which still seems to be the case), while their web traffic was just terrific.

I think what EW has done with this issue — and Golf Digest, previously — is recognize that it’s not an either/or situation. People like holding magazines, books, newspapers… they also like to go online.

So, while I am pretty much a Mac person, I have to give kudos to Microsoft for a technology that seems able to help bridge the gap between the two media.

Will more publications follow EW? Will EW follow itself and develop specialized content beyond links to ads and movie trailers?

Hopefully.

IPad as Media Savior? Looking at Some of the Apps

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 7:47 am

Just one more day until the IPad arrives and everyone’s world changes for the better.

Or maybe not.

The early reviews are in and, as expected, they’re generally positive though pointing out some of the shortcomings.

One recurring theme in the discussion has been whether the device will save newspapers, help old media stave off extinction?

With one day to go, there’s a lot of indications that the so-called “old media” has embraced the IPad — the website macstories.net, for instance, has a look at USA Today’s app, which they say “looks good and has lots of functions.”

Browsing through the ITunes store, here’s a brief look at what some of the other newspapers and magazines have been up to.

[daylifegallery id=”1270131349573″]

While The New York Times is ready to start charging readers for online content, they also appear to be willing to keep giving some of it away for free. They will be offering the “NYT Editors’ Choice” — which, they say, will offer
a limited selection of news, opinion and features” that you can download, share via email and, actually, looks pretty good. It reminds me of the four-page version of the paper they give it out on cruise ships.

Reuters, meanwhile, also appears to getting on the free bandwagon, offering a “Marketboard” that stylistically doesn’t seem all that exciting but substantively seems to offer a lot of market news or — as they say — it will allow “financial professionals, students and other market enthusiasts to quickly grasp global performance and review documents to better understand events that drive the market.”

Maybe the screenshots they include don’t do the app justice or maybe it’s some sort of staid British thing.

Looking at another free not-very-exciting looking Reuters app — “Galleries” which promises to allow you to “discover a new, visual way of staying on top of the news” by bringing “together the best in photo journalism each day” — maybe they’re forgoing bells and whistles and hoping the product will speak for itself.

The Associated Press also has a free app, which looks okay but I promise you, if it’s half as good as what they developed for the IPhone and ITouch, it will be quite good, allowing you to get breaking news alerts, local news and photos.

Other free apps from news organizations include NPR, the BBC and Bloomberg. Also the Wall Street Journal seems to have a free app like the Times’ Editors’ Choice with one difference, it will allow greater access to stories and content with a subscription.

Not everyone is going the free route. Time Magazine is offering an app that will provide the magazine for $4.99 an issue, same as the newsstand price, available Fridays, just like the print edition, that will offer extras not available in print such as added international coverage they don’t print in the United States (of course leading to the ever present question of do media outlets not offer international coverage in the US because people don’t care or do people not SEEM to care because they’re not even offered a chance to experience the news from elsewhere).

And GQ has already launched an app version of the magazine at $2.99 a month.

Meanwhile, MacStories has a video of scrolling through the ITunes store, showing screenshots of several of the new IPad apps and the website appadvice appears to have a screenshot of every app being offered for the IPad….

Will the IPad save old media? Honestly, I’m not even 100 percent sure what that means… Will some publications make the most of it and thrive while some will try really hard and still have trouble? I’m pretty sure the latter is the case.