Is This The Future of Magazines?

Maybe. But as you watch this demo, ask yourself three questions:

1. What excites you most? The content, the device, or the interface?
2. Would you pay for a National Geographic version? (Keep in mind: Lots of free content will undoubtedly migrate to this platform too.)
3. Do you think National Geographic will be one of the companies blazing a new media trail with this technology? (We hope so, and have seen some tantalizing hints that it might be, but based on past performance, we still worry.)

  • It’s the interface, of course. Though the relatively compact size and clean look of the device is good too. If ‘zines like New Yorker and our beloved NGM can be successfully moved onto this platform, there may be hope.

    • If it’s the interface and not the content that jazzes you, Greg, then I’d scale back your hopes that NGM can move successfully to this platform & remain solvent. Because if the interface becomes as easy to use & manipulate as the interface for this blog (powered by WordPress, styled by Thesis), then we’re back to the current impasse: lots of people serving up free content on respectable looking platforms … ad rates plummeting… and no business model to sustain “our beloved NGM.” And while some people are cheering the arrival of “Hulu for magazines,” I doubt that’ll be a magic bullet either — at least for NGM.

  • It’s the interface, of course. Though the relatively compact size and clean look of the device is good too. If ‘zines like New Yorker and our beloved NGM can be successfully moved onto this platform, there may be hope.

    • If it’s the interface and not the content that jazzes you, Greg, then I’d scale back your hopes that NGM can move successfully to this platform & remain solvent. Because if the interface becomes as easy to use & manipulate as the interface for this blog (powered by WordPress, styled by Thesis), then we’re back to the current impasse: lots of people serving up free content on respectable looking platforms … ad rates plummeting… and no business model to sustain “our beloved NGM.” And while some people are cheering the arrival of “Hulu for magazines,” I doubt that’ll be a magic bullet either — at least for NGM.

  • David Jeffery

    Image-rich NGM would seem to be a better fit than The New Yorker to migrate to a tablet platform. How about The Economist? The current design is pedestrian, but the worldwide reporting is outstanding for its breadth and, often, depth.

    • Hi Dave,

      The Economist and The New Yorker could work on a tablet, esp if the device has a resolution that’s as good, or exceeds, my iPhone, and makes reading easy. And the photos in NGM would no doubt look brilliant. But the business side looks much different. Folks pay for The Economist because it’s “need to know” editorial — at least for a certain class of people; whereas NGM doesn’t have, and never had, that degree of urgency.

      Like Greg said, it’s the interface, not the content, that’s the real “wow” factor. Problem is, NGM is about the pictures (or so we’re told), and good pix are everywhere. The other problem is that NGS doesn’t sell the hardware of software; they sell content. So I can’t see how this new gizmo will fundamentally change the Society’s trajectory.

      As I’ve been saying (ad nauseum): It’s not the medium, it’s the message. And our Society seems to have forgotten the message that made us great.

  • David Jeffery

    Image-rich NGM would seem to be a better fit than The New Yorker to migrate to a tablet platform. How about The Economist? The current design is pedestrian, but the worldwide reporting is outstanding for its breadth and, often, depth.

    • Hi Dave,

      The Economist and The New Yorker could work on a tablet, esp if the device has a resolution that’s as good, or exceeds, my iPhone, and makes reading easy. And the photos in NGM would no doubt look brilliant. But the business side looks much different. Folks pay for The Economist because it’s “need to know” editorial — at least for a certain class of people; whereas NGM doesn’t have, and never had, that degree of urgency.

      Like Greg said, it’s the interface, not the content, that’s the real “wow” factor. Problem is, NGM is about the pictures (or so we’re told), and good pix are everywhere. The other problem is that NGS doesn’t sell the hardware of software; they sell content. So I can’t see how this new gizmo will fundamentally change the Society’s trajectory.

      As I’ve been saying (ad nauseum): It’s not the medium, it’s the message. And our Society seems to have forgotten the message that made us great.

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