PROJECT, the first major Apple iPad only publication on the App Store has been launched today by Sir Richard Branson in New York. Representing Virgin’s first experience of digital magazine publishing (there can’t be many more markets left for Virgin to be in can there?!) the app is available for free from the App Store, with each issue costing $2.99 or £1.79.
With a new issue being released each month content of the magazine is updated regularly, essentially giving readers a month of reading material for a one of price. It also encourages contributions from its readers and bloggers, giving lots of people a chance to make themselves heard.
Sir Richard Branson commented: “When my daughter Holly, who is Special Projects Manager at Virgin Group, first told me that she had agreed to sponsor an iPad-only magazine idea from one of our young entrepreneurs, Giovanni Donaldson, I thought she was talking double Dutch!” he said. “It wasn’t until Anthony, Gio and Holly showed me the amazing, innovative editorial and advertising in PROJECT that I ‘got’ how groundbreaking digital publishing can be. To be frank it blew me away.”
The magazine is made up of four main areas: design, entertainment, technology, and entrepreneurs. There is also a team of contributors involved in the magazine that will blog about news, design, film, fashion and technology daily, making sure the latest content is always available to read.
It’s not just the content that’s dynamic either; the various pieces of advertising present in the publication is designed to be every bit as eye-catching as the editorial content. Launch partners include Lexus, American Express, Panasonic, Ford UK, Ford Canada and Kronenbourg 1664.
Anthony Noguera, editor of PROJECT, said in New York: “I must be the luckiest editor alive. To be given the opportunity to create a magazine that is completely unique and innovative, to work with like-minded journalists, contributors and advertisers who are just as passionate and excited as I am about PROJECT has been inspiring. I am proud of PROJECT. Proud of what we have achieved and delighted to have played a small part in determining what will become the future of what we as readers expect from the magazines of tomorrow. Today, PROJECT has set the standard.”
From my early impressions of the application which I am currently using on my iPad, there are three different versions of the magazine available to download: a UK version; a US version and a Canadian version. Although the different versions appear to have the same core content, whether slight differences besides spelling and grammar are present in each version I couldn’t say. I will be looking in to this, and more, in our review of PROJECT in the coming days, so keep an eye out for it on the website!
What are your early impressions of PROJECT? How does it compare to the likes of the Reader’s Digest Magazine iPad App? Is it a big advancement in the publishing industry, or will it struggle to catch on with only iPad users to aim for? Maybe this is an advantage to digital publishing in that there is a limited scope of readers to target, making interesting topics that bit easier to come by. Let us know all your thoughts in the comments!