Friday, December 18, 2009


I read a lot of magazines and probably subscribe to one too many; I just can't kick the habit. It means that I seldom get down to reading so many books because magazines get in the way. I also enjoy visiting newsagents and browsing at the ever-increasing range of magazines on offer. There you really see the overwhelming volume of production available today. On the net you only look at one site at a time (mostly) but on the newstands you see them all side by side.

But is all this soon to go, swept away by the same forces that are undermining video hire stores and record shops? Magazines are glossy, attractive and full of top quality photography. Today's e-book readers like Kindle just can't compete with the paper versions but what happens when the tablet readers get the same graphics as the glossy mags? Plus links to video, animations and interactive content.

This film is a vision of a possible e-magazine reader from the Swedish publisher Bonnier (Digital magazines: Bonnier Mag+ Prototype). We're not there yet but soon will be and the big question is whether people will be willing to pay for this sort of attractive content. Could this be a way for publishers to earn money from content? The device is slim and no bigger than the average paper magazine but should of course be able to store hundreds of magazines. Now if that device can also act as a computer screen so I don't need to carry several devices then I'm very interested. When devices like this come on the market the newsagents could be in trouble.

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

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