Wednesday marked the release of what is touted as the first magazine developed exclusively for the iPad. “Project”, as the publication is called, is the latest addition under Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, and the magazine is a visionary success. “Project” shows its readers a level of media engagement that is most often associated with ‘the future’. If you’re familiar with Harry Potter, then you may recall the animated newspapers depicted in the movies in which the photos move and do all sorts of ‘magic’ things. Well, Virgin’s publication is very similar—shockingly so, actually. The entire magazine is a multimedia adventure. Jeff Bridges, who graces the issue’s cover, moves about page, the editorials can speak, and the advertisements react to the finger’s touch. The entire experience—all the interaction—feels like it arrived so soon; it’s just so unusual.
Of course, there are many digital magazines out there, but Project is the first high-profile one to hit the market. With its extensive publicity, perhaps its debut will help stimulate the digital media industry so that some of the other digital magazines out there will be seen as less of a trendy feature and more as an essential outlet for websites. And this is just the beginning of what is surly to become the new paradigm of the digital publication industry. The multimedia features allow these publications to act as more than just magazines. Net-a-Porter’s digital magazine, Magalog, which is available on both their website and on the iPad, allows readers to browse and instantly purchase Net-a-Porter’s inventory. While the publication is less of a magazine and more of a catalog, it does feature editorials and photo spreads, so it essentially feels like a magazine.
Each issue of Project is available to purchase for $2.99, the Project app, however, is free.
(images: Project Magazine, Net-a-Porter.com)