Can you remember the last time you bought a magazine from a newstand or shop ? nor can I (excepting the one I get delivered monthly fo...

The Saviour of magazines ?


Can you remember the last time you bought a magazine from a newstand or shop ? nor can I (excepting the one I get delivered monthly for a fraction of the cover price) after all why buy when you can get more interesting, accurate and varied information online? - I guess this points towards the the reason for the huge decline in magazine readership - and the much discussed death of the print medium so when I saw an article in the WSJ (online edition) I was unsure whether this was a last gasp effort at "advertainment", an attempt to create Word of Mouth or just a gimmick to try and woo back cynical advertisers (or all three!)

The story was about CBS's recent attempt to achieve standout in Entertainment Weekly using what they term VIP or rather "video in print" which involves embedding a video player in a print ad that works like one of those audio greeting cards - opening the page activates a quarter-inch–thick screen player which is a viewable through a cutaway between two pages - you can see how this looks on you tube here. The ad, which will only be seen by subscribers in the New York and LA markets, plays about 40 minutes of video.

According to various reviews it "plays full-motion video at a crisp resolution" and despite what appears to be good audio quality there are no volume controls so watch out on the train. Apparently this comes at no small cost - the ballpark dollar cost for one of these video units is in the "low teens,"
This is not the first foray into challenging magazines to enter (or rather challenge) the World of web 2.0 - a year or so ago Esquire magazine tried it with The E-Ink display which drew a muted response - from disdain to the slightly more positive with most writing it off as a publicity stunt.

On the face of it this appears to be a genuine effort to provide more interesting and valuable content for the reader and a great opportunity for advertisers to reach out to consumers in a more interesting and rich way - on a wider scale the technology provides for interesting application both within the print medium but also on a wider level - from cereal boxes to in-store media.

However unless the costs come down significantly I cannot see how this will take off other than a gimmick - unless of course the porn industry gets hold of it !

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