Dazed with pornography

I’m researching a lecture on digital magazines that I will be giving at Glion University in Switzerland in October. As a result, I’ve been talking to a lot of people in the area – and looking at a lot of magazines on my PC. The result is that I want a bigger screen!

Magazines such as Dazed & Confused are luscious in print but look even more so on a PC. They draw the eye in – real pornography (even without the naked bodies). Plus, you can blow the images up so they more than fill the screen. Take a look at the free sample of Dazed and the other titles available on the Exact Editions website if you haven’t done so already – there are 45 to choose from.

And the range of titles available from Exact Editions is impressive – from the Catholic Herald to AnOther Magazine to Press Gazette and The Spectator. As well seeing the actual page, Adam Hodgkin tells me you can subscribe to several titles and do searches across the lot!

And then there’s the Ceros platform. It’s best known for Dennis’s digital-only eMag Monkey but also does medical journal The Lancet (what biggest contrast could there be?) and is working on the soon-to-hit-the-streets free lad’s mag Shortlist (don’t you just love the fact that Beano publisher DC Thomson has put money behing it!).

The big question is, though, is there any money in it? Nat Mags recently closed its digital-only teen test bed Jellyfish. NatMags boss Duncan Edwards told the Guardian Jellyfish had failed to demonstrate a sustainable business model. But there were two big problems with this one any way. First, the bottom has dropped out of the teen market (and the fact that CosmoGirl! closed showed NatMags didn’t know what to do about it). Second, the launch was messed up because the email-only mag was blocked as spam by the likes of Hotmail over problems with the mailing list.

There are two business models being tried – free, advertising-based (eg Monkey) and subscriptions titles (eg Dazed is £20 a year).

No-one is giving any numbers away (apart from Dennis coming in with an ABCe figure of 209,612 copies a week). But Ceros MD Dominic Duffy makes a good point – ‘After all, in what other online medium is a reader happy for half their screen to be occupied by an advert?’.

For many titles, from Dazed to Private Eye, the ads are part of the joy of the magazine and I can see the new medium encouraging better advertising to earn its place on the screen.

The medium certainly looks to have a better future than the CD-Rom magazines of the late 1990s. And while I’m on that topic, does anyone have any screen shots from Dennis’s Blender or IPC’s Unzip I could use in my talk?

One Response to “Dazed with pornography”

  1. Sophie Says:

    I am writing my masters dissertation on digital magazines and the impact of free media on the magazine industry. Would I be able to contact whoever wrote this post?

    I would really love to be able to talk to you on the subject?

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