Monday, October 18, 2010

Hearst Digital debuts awesome ESQUIRE magazine for iPad!

Until now digital adaptations by popular magazines haven’t been all that exciting.  This month’s debut of ESQUIRE for iPad is truly an awesome editorial and technological achievement, however, and it offers a thrilling glimpse at where magazine publishing is headed. 

Developed by Hearst Digital and ScrollMotion, Esquire's iPad app makes each page a rich and dynamic experience. Take the October cover featuring actor Javier Bardem. He strolls right up to your screen and personally welcomes you to the issue as Esquire's masthead and interactive story call-outs fuse into rightful position. 

This video demo shows how the magazine goes very digital while still retaining its hallmark editorial design and quality. For example, photography in the fall style section can be rotated 360 degrees and viewed from various angles. The automotive review opens with a stunning still shot of an Audi roadster that turns cinematic when the driver revs up, roars away and then screeches back to give us a frontal view. Cool!  An article about the World Trade Center’s reconstruction is presented in layers of interactive text, high-resolution images and animation.

Josh Koppel, one of the co-founders of ScrollMotion, whose clients include Hearst, Random House, Houghton Mifflin, Simon and Schuster, and The Jim Henson Company, believes digital publishing should not be about putting a PDF version on an iPad; rather, he says digitization should be an additive process that makes each page a powerful multimedia platform.

No doubt magazines have much to gain by publishing digital editions. Consider that Esquire’s iPad app is sold at full price ($4.99) on a per-issue basis - no discounted subscriptions. (The iPhone edition costs $2.99 per issue.) As long as audiences keep coming back (how could they not given fantastic content?) it makes sense advertisers will be lining up, too. 

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