Steve Jobs once said that “one day”, the PC will be not bigger than an A4 paper and the mouse and keyboard will be obsolete. That day came a few years back, when the tablets and eBook Readers were created and to this hour, tech companies are working tirelessly to bring every reading material to the tablet world. In other words, as millions of electronic books are now available worldwide, why not add other types of information to the list of tablet accessed reading material?
In the beginning of 2011, Time Inc., the famous magazine, has issued a press release stating that by the end of the year, it will secure the availability of all its materials in digital format. The ambitious statement added that all 21 of Time’s magazines will have a digital replica and be accessible to their faithful readers who own tablets. So far, among all magazine publishers, Time Inc. alone has launched such a courageous plan.
Last week, Sports Illustrated Golf Group announced the brand new digital release of its Golf Magazine. The print subscription will be joined by the digital version free of charge and for those who prefer to read their Sport’s Illustrated in digital format only, the online issues can be downloaded for $4.99 each.
In the official statement, the Editor of Golf Magazine, David Clarke announced: “We are embracing a variety of exciting new platforms to showcase our content on and are delighted with the many benefits of viewing our monthly issue on tablet devices. You can expect a number of exclusives for tablet users as our editorial team works to optimize the assets of this new technology, which will enhance all areas of the magazine.”
When magazines decided to create electronic versions for their issues, they set limitations on subscriptions and users didn’t give a second thought to the idea of “digital magazine”. Today, Time Magazine has done a smart move and rendered a genuine price to their subscriptions. For example, an issue of Golf Magazine sold in print costs $4.99, as much as the digital version. But one month’s online subscription of a mere $1.99 makes a huge difference from the price a month’s worth of print issues charge.
With the intention of keeping their promise, people from Time Magazine have released several other gazettes in a digital format, including People, Fortune and Real Simple. The monthly issues can be enjoyed on the latest Barnes and Noble tablet, out now in the USA. To promote their new products, Golf Magazine included bonus videos and interviews, topped with enhanced features for their inaugural edition of digital media. Time’s readers can enjoy their favourite magazines on the iPad, the Nook Color tablet and several other devices operating on Android.
To be fair, the effort to turn the world from using print versions of the magazines they read every day is a bit of a stretch, as so many are set in their ways. But considering the advantages – the low cost, the physical space a tablet occupies and especially the impact on the environment, as so many trees would be spared – this decision is not only smart, but definitely worth taken into consideration.