Light It Magazine – The Future of Magazine Publishing

I got a call from my buddy Scott Kelby last night telling me that his new magazine was about to go Live! It’s a very exciting new product for Kelby Media, not just because it is a great new magazine with a cool concept behind it, but because of the delivery method. This magazine is an iPad-only periodical. That’s right, don’t look for this on your news stand or mail box because the only place to find it is in the App Store in iTunes. The digital only product is a completely new venture for Kelby Media and it’s one that I was sure would be here sooner or later.

Sure, there will be some folks out there that want to complain or whine about not having an iPad, and this is understandable. But things move forward, whether you are ready for them or not. When Apple made computers without floppy disks, the computer world thought they were crazy, but just try and find one in a new computer now. It’s not always easy to be ahead of the curve. You are bound to catch flack from folks that think you don’t care about them. This just isn’t the case. Things have to move forward just like digital photography has nearly supplanted film photography. Sure, there will be those that want to hold on to the old, but the future is still coming at you.

Frankly, the digital magazine format has so many advantages over the traditional paper mag that its hard to know where to begin. First, the cost of printing a magazine is huge and then there is the shipping. Add to that the staff it takes to circulate each subscription and you have a model that is ripe for failure (ever notice how Time and Newsweek are getting skinnier?)

Another clear digital advantage is multimedia. You can just plain do more with a digital magazine. Advertisers can embed live links to their products. This also goes for any other links that are story or article related. Also, you can embed video right into the pages. If there is something that will translate better with a live demo, no problem, just insert a short video. You don’t have to watch it but it’s there as a way to enhance the content. Then there is the digital zoom. This may not affect everyone but I love being able to zoom into a page and see larger text or more detail in an image. If a double-truck photo spread is called for all I have to do is turn the iPad longways and I get a nice 2-page spread. The visual experience for a magazine on an iPad is pretty great.

Another clear advantage is that I can carry multiple issues without having to worry about them getting torn up riding around in my backpack. Ask anyone with a Kindle and they can tell you how they love having dozens of books at their beck and call.

So why the iPad? Well, I didn’t ask Scott because I already know the answer. The iPad is AWESOME! Okay, not really an answer, but it is. The iPad is a very good platform for an e-reader dealing with colorful illustrations and photographs. The images are crisp, clean, and full of color. Also, the iPad is a known quantity with a very stable operating system. Sure there are other tablets/pads out there but they are running on a multitude of OS’s which would be a nightmare for formatting. And let’s face it, Apple has the lion’s share of the market in this arena with one of the best marketplace and delivery methods around. That may change in the future but for now it’s hard to argue that one.

Do I feel bad that folks without iPads will not get to see this great new magazine? Absolutely. But the fact is that this is the future and it’s coming whether you like it or not.

As for the magazine, it is fantastic! But I will let you go to Scott’s blog for a full breakdown by watching his launch video. Kudos to Scott and company for taking this big step forward. It won’t be without a few negative comments but progress is rarely pain-free. For those of you with iPads who want to check out the free complimentary first issue, click this link to find it in iTunes or search for Light It Digital Magazine in the App store on your pad.

Comments

  1. Leigh Catley says:

    Jeff, I agree times are a changing and we have to keep up. The problem here (IMO) is that we are not talking just about a digital magazine, we are talking about a digital, iPad magazine. I for one would like to see other platform options available so that everyone has access to the great content. For me, I am all for the move to digital publications and I get why the iPad may be the first platform supported but I really hope it is not the last.

    As an aside, I am an iPad owner.

    Leigh

  2. Is it possible to contribute to this magazine ?? If yes who should we contact ?
    Thanks

  3. I just commented on Scott’s site about the new Mag. I’m all for digital publishing. The new mag’s concept sounds great, but I am definitely against content or software that force me to a particular platform or form factor. I’m an IT director. I don’t like being shoehorned at work and I don’t like it for my hobby either. Yup, I’m peeved.

    Jeff, I don’t appreciate your comment. I’m not ‘whining’ because I don’t have and iPAD; I’m commenting because I choose not to have an iPAD. So my question is… is this new publication about a delivery method or light? About light? — why limit the publication to 14% of the market share? I don’t care how good Scott’s content is, I’m not buying an iPAD to get it. Hope Scott got a whopping roll of cash from Apple for this venture and best wishes to all.

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. I enjoy your blog.
    Laurie-B

  4. Todd Baker says:

    Jeff. You’re not just drinking the Kool Aid, you’re distributing it!

    Digital publishing is the future, no doubt, limiting it to the apple eco-system is just silly.

    A magazine I guess I won’t be reading.

    From my galaxy tab….

  5. Gianmarco says:

    O MY GOD I’M GOING TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE FUTURE, I DON’T OWN AN IPAD! ………PLEASE!!!!!! Limiting your public to Apple users….sorry even worse……Ipad users, is really a bad move, I personally I read 90% of magazines I buy in digital format, I would have loved to read yours but being an old fashion type of guy it just will not be possible

  6. Jeff – It’s somewhat condescending to call non-iPad people “whiners” if they don’t like an iPad-only magazine. I have an Android tablet and would be more than happy to read this new magazine on that device, but Kelby has made a *platform* choice, not a medium choice. Thus your comments are marginalizing users who do not buy into a platform, but they’re masked as a dig against people stuck in the past on older mediums. That’s simply not fair.

    • Whine: to utter a low, usually nasal, complaining cry or sound, as from uneasiness, discontent, peevishness, etc. I don’t know if you read all the comments on Scott’s blog or on Google Plus but there were a few whiners. I suggest anyone who has questions about their choice to go with the iPad should read Scott’s blog Q&A. There are hundreds of iPad-only apps rolled out every day just as there are Android-only apps. so yes, they made a platform choice for their medium (which is a magazine).

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