Frieze magazine on the iPad

Congrats to everyone at Frieze on their new, quarterly iPad incarnation.

I gave a little technical help at the latter stages of the launch (fun and games with getting into Apple’s Newsstand), and I’m very glad to see the finished publication.

Created using the Adobe DPS it has the same high-end design and beautifully presented imagery that you’d expect from the print edition, although the digital magazine also boasts specially commissioned video, audio and slideshows.

As ever, the more quality print magazines (and their creative teams) that are experimenting on tablets, the better.

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Social engagements

Two talks in recent weeks, to engaged audiences asking nicely tricky questions.

First up I was at the Social Media Influence 2012 Conference, on a panel with Rob Crumbie of Recyclebank and Frances Brindle, Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications at the British Library.

And then I was speaking at the Reinventing Magazines Masterclass at The Guardian, alongside Danny Miller, co-founder of The Church of London, and Steve Watson, founder of Stack.

A few points that keep coming up in the discussions at these events:

  • HTML5 is going to increasingly be the tool of choice for presenting tablet app content. The multiple new devices arriving imminently will make native coding a slow and low-cost way to roll-out, and we need some standards for both editorial and advertisers.

  • Two interlinked problems are still circulating discussions around digital magazines: discoverability and sharing. How do you get a digital magazine found on the increasingly crowded virtual shelves of the app stores, and how can you enable users to share content (a key way to encourage discovery) when you’re also charging for access to the content (and don’t want pirate versions floating around). Ebooks face a similar problem.

  • Digital magazines are only part of the offering. Whether you’re a high-end fashion magazine or a small independent, your tablet incarnation will one of your brand’s offerings, alongside websites, social media channels, events, ebooks and a printed product.

    Image above by altemark.

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    Reinventing Magazines

    I’m part of a trio of speakers at a Guardian Masterclasses event called ‘Reinventing Magazines’. It’ll be an interactive Q&A for anybody interested in new models and innovation in magazines – covering both print and digital.

    Also speaking will Danny Miller, founder of The Church of London – the creative agency which publishes Little White Lies and Huck magazine, as well as Think Quarterly for Google.

    And we’ll have magazine champion Steve Watson of Stack – the innovative distributer of the best independent magazines.

    For more info and tickets head here

    Image above by noodlepie

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    UK tablet magazines: the stats

    The magazine circulation figures were out yesterday. Fairly gloomy for lots of publishers, but one new addition this time is the audited figures for tablet editions.

    Journalism.co.uk has a round-up of figures for the second half of 2011 here.

    It’s the first time we’ve seen audited figures, and it’s still early days. Since Apple launched Newsstand (and with it proper subscriptions and entitlements for print subscribers) in mid-October, halfway through the audit period, we’ll have to wait until July for a clearer picture. But there are a few things to note.

    Firstly, it’s evident that – with Cosmo as a notable exception – the leading titles are all skewed towards a male and/or techie readership. This is probably unsurprising, but as tablets continue to spread it’ll be interesting to see if this stays the same.

    Secondly, there’s a mix of titles producing some manner of bespoke edition for the iPad (several using either the Adobe or Woodwing platforms), and titles that are just porting their print pdfs. Again, this is worth keeping an eye on – it’s far more expensive to go down the former route (even though making no attempt to optimise for the device seems insane in even the medium term), and publishers will all be doing the sums.

    And then there’s the question mark over whether publishers should be producing replicas of their monthly editions in any form (which is done to be audited), instead of re-imagining their brands entirely for tablets.

    Here’s the top ten as it stands…

    Men’s Health: 7,779
    T3: 7,327
    GQ: 5,731
    Cosmopolitan: 5,675
    Men’s Fitness: 3,987
    Esquire: 3,745
    MacUser: 3,648
    Stuff: 3,630
    Wired: 3,190
    Total Film: 2,910

    Image above by pamhule

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    Future of Magazines at the V&A

    As Clever Boxer, we’re running a series of events at the V&A around different aspects of the creative industries, all spinning off their excellent Power of Making exhibition.

    The first event was entitled ‘Dead Wood: The Future of Magazines’, and as well as me speaking about iPad and tablet magazines we had Steve Watson of Stack giving an overview of the independent magazine sector, and Lucy Scott and Tina Smith of Lost in London talking about their experiences of lauching their own beautiful print magazine.

    All the speakers were excellent, and we had lively debate and smart questions from those in attendance. Thomas Marks covered the event for the Telegraph.

    We’ve got more events coming up at the V&A, several at the Soho House Group, and more to come during the year – check the website for details.

    Image above by onepointzero.

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    Make Shift magazine

    On the weekend of 13-14th August, as part of the Power and Production weekend at the Southbank Centre, a group of writers, editors, designers, photographers and illustrators got together to produce an entire magazine in 48 hours. I went along to see if I could help.

    It was all overseen by the brilliant Steve Watson of Stack Magazines, and Jeremy Leslie of MagCulture. The atmosphere was brilliant in a hectic way, and the guys did an awesome job of finishing it off.

    I did a bit of editing and cutting, and interviewed Mark Butler-Adams, MD of Brompton Bicycles Ltd.

    You can flick through the finished mag here.

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