Last week I posted our concern about what the new iPad will mean to digital edition sizes. Over at FOLIO, Mag+’s Mike Haney says you have nothing to worry about:
"The retina iPad, with its print-like resolution and rich backlit color is giving an industry whose value proposition is built on beautiful imagery, careful design and readable text the most amazing platform it’s ever had for all of those things. Its introduction should not be a cause for fretting about the death of an experiment that’s just begun on the altar of file size, but a moment to ask ourselves: what are we doing with it? "
Simply put, I disagree, and here are just a few reasons why:
1.) He’s comparing the wrong thing. In his argument, he reasons that the best selling thing on iTunes is the Walking Dead, but comparing a creative work to works of nonfiction is apples and oranges. Aside from National Geography, which wins award every time they get the camera out of the bag, you won’t see many nonfiction shows topping the list of most paid-for content on iTunes.
2.) The expectation that it’s easy to archive magazines. Nowhere is our packrat mentality more apparent than when we buy a magazine. It’s a core product feature people expect, and they’re sure to be disappointed when they can only fit one year’s worth on their device. To suggest otherwise means you don’t know your readers.
There’s no argument here that Haney is right about one thing: magazine publishers have an opportunity (perhaps even a necessity) to optimize their content for this new breed of high-end tablet. At the same time, publishers would be wise to seek out solutions that won’t have their readers abandoning their issues midway through the download.
March 27th, 2012 by Marcus Grimm