iPad and Moving Magazine Covers

by Dave on April 1, 2010

This weekend’s launch of the Apple iPad marks the first really big step into a whole new world of publishing. Unlike the clumsy architecture of magazine websites, digital forms of our favorite printed publications have the potential to come alive.

This is really cool stuff…BUT… the question I have is, “Will visual budgets for cover shoots or spreads that are currently $10 thousand suddenly increase to $50 thousand or way way more?” Certainly, time and expenses are much bigger on a moving production than a normal 5-setups-with-talent in a still studio. The cost for a still photo of a person running on the beach might be $5K but the same shoot in motion could easily reach $35 large. Given the current economic climate for just about every consumer magazine, I tend to doubt it. Maybe this will be reserved for special issues like Vogue’s 840-page fall fashion doorstop. I certainly hope it will find much wider use.

Entertainment based publications could have the best opportunity. Project production companies could build this content into their process and offer different “cuts” of music videos or film and TV trailers for editorial use. Of course that becomes nothing more than an advertisement for the production. Could be a whole new revenue stream for publications.

Finally, who will own the work? Still photography is owned by the creator. Film work, such as this, is typically owned by the production company and production companies often dissolve after each project runs it’s course.

I am really excited about this new wild frontier of publishing but still have to ask, “Who is paying for it?”

It is still a business, and potentially a very good one. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Green April 1, 2010 at 12:22 pm

These were my thought exactly when I saw this. With the trend in fees going the opposite way, it seems implausible.

And where is the ad revenue going to come from? I think with the iPad it will be easier than ever to "skip" the ads, and circulation will be minuscule by comparison to traditional print.Should be interesting… I think the jury is still out on the the iPad as a game changer in publishing.

Maybe it's just me but do we need another gadget? Really?


A Visual Perspective April 2, 2010 at 3:02 am

Agreed. My first reaction to the iPad was that I didn't need another device to carry around. However, I am not the average consumer.
I can see the iPad easily replacing netbooks and other devices people use in a similar way.
Will it place laptops? Maybe, in a few years when they become a lot more powerful.
Still, the real question is about the content and who has the budget to produce it. I have long held that content is king and organizations that can create good unique content will do very well.
Time will tell.


A Visual Perspective April 16, 2010 at 12:00 am

From a friend…

If that shoot was actually paid for rather than people giving their time just to be involved with something new (which I suspect), my guess is that they were probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 100G without the photographer's rate. The stage and hardware cost over 20G and those special effects guys are the best paid pixel-pushers in the planet…that can never be the norm unless this industry explodes and the people raking in the money are willing to reinvest in themselves, which has never really been their working model. I think we will see this type of work from advertisers long before editorial content, at least on a regular basis.


smplcv November 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

iPad is the best for all group ages and i love it! thanks for sharing this with me!

Foreman CV


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