A Tablet to Cure Magazine Ad Sales Blues?

The Wonderfactory, in collaboration with Time, Inc., helped design the prototype of what Sports Illustrated magazine might look like on a tablet computer.

Revealed on December 2nd, this innovation could allow magazines and other periodicals to charge for content on tablet computers, and give advertisers data on who’s seeing their ads.

Stephanie Clifford of the New York Times broke the story. A few highlights:

  • Apple, HP and other computer manufacturers are expected to offer tablet computers sometime next year.
  • “The general guess is they’ll be like big iPhones, with interactive touch-screens. The larger size makes it feasible to put a magazine page on a tablet.”
  • The functionality is anticipated to let readers interact with the magazine stories, ads, and content, watch videos, see additional photos, get live updates, and particpate with what’s going on in the story.
  • Readers will also be able to email, print, save, and share stories and content with friends via social media channels.

From an ad sales perspective, this should create opportunities for media departments across the country. It’s anticipated that readers will be able to use the touch screen to interact with ads, view video clips, product comparisons, prices, and purchase directly from a story. In turn, this should open up a whole to way of thinking about ads that will lead to increased innovation.

From a new business perspective, you have to think that this type of take-it-with-you technology – a tablet that’s bigger than your i-phone but much more portable than a Kindle – will open up a another vehicle for innovative apps and offerings. Ad agencies and other marketing services firms should be able to leverage innovative offerings to generate both organic growth and new business.

While I’m generally not an early-adopter, the thought of being able to do most of my “required reading” on a highly portable tablet computer that provides online interactivity, is really exciting.


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