After writing about Rupert Murdoch's iPad exclusive newspaper The Daily, I could only smile when one of Britain's most respected (and charismatic) entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, was planning to launch an iPad exclusive magazine called Project. Does it mean you have to be a millionaire to pull off something like this?
While I doubted about the collaboration between News Corp and Apple to bring an overdue subscription service to the iPad in the next iOS, Branson has also had preferential treatment at Cupertino. One of the most epic advertising campaigns ever, Apple's Think Different, featured the Virgin founder on its TV ad. Now it seems he is paying back the favor with an app that could give the iPad some credibility as a tablet for paid media consumption.
The first issue of Project magazine (December 2010) will be launched tomorrow in New York by Richard Branson himself. Former editor-in-chief of FHM Anthony Noguera will be in charge of the new title under Virgin Digital Publishing. The magazine will cover technology, entertainment, business and design, oriented to a male audience in between Esquire and Wired.
While many traditional magazines have joined the AppStore with different luck, Project magazine will take yet another leap on the way readers experience content. The use of video on the front cover is a clear sign of the direction this is going: interactivity and immersion that others have attempted with rather poor results. Will Project offer something different? The publishers promise that issues will come out every month but new content will be included on a daily basis as well as users polls and blog posts.
I'm really looking forward to try this one out tomorrow. I'm subscribed to a handful of old-fashion paper magazines similar in the line of Project and would be very pleased to see quality content and collaborators there. If you have seen this month's Wired cover it is impossible not to see similitudes: They both open with the geekiest movie of the holiday season, Tron, with Jeff Bridges interviewed at Project and Beau Garret poses for Wired.