Friday, 22 June 2012

Reinventing Magazines: Print and Online magazines, Guardian, Alan Rutter, Condé Nast

“The best thing about the web is that anyone can publish anything. And the worst thing about the web is that anyone can publish anything." 
 Alan Rutter, speaking at the Guardian newspaper’s King’s Place HQ (Thursday, 21 June), explained magazine publishers felt compelled to publish iPad magazine editions as the tablet device looked similar in size and shape to a printed mag! “Not the best way to judge a new piece of technology,” said Rutter of Condé Nast publishers. 
 “I thought the iPad was a toy but then my wife started using an iPad for social networking and consuming content," said Rutter. "It’s not like a laptop, it doesn’t feel like work.” 
 In the United States, the iPad is predicted to become a ubiquitous device by 2014. Currently, UK usage lags behind.
 “Tablet devices need to become boring before the content becomes interesting,” added Rutter. UK users still say, 'I can’t do much with my iPad but doesn't it look great!'
 Magazine publishers with tablet editions are beginning to see UK readers opt for tablet editions. Publishers hope tablet devices can add a vital ten per cent to their audited circulations.
 But an intensive Reinventing Magazines event hosted by the bright and  breezy folk at the Guardian ended on a consensual note; don't fret, printed magazines will survive the multiple online platform onslaught. Websites, tablets, smartphones, email newsletters, blogs and apps won't evaporate printed content.
 Why? Well, readers like to immerse themselves in well-designed printed magazines laced with specially commissioned and professionally edited content. They like to curate their mags and stick them in issue order on their shelves.
And, as as one audience member pointed out, an online magazine doesn't smell as sweet as a freshly printed magazine!

Alan Rutter spoke at Reinventing Magazines, a Guardian masterclass on Thursday, 21 June.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2012

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