The role of mobile in the changing face of publishing
Publishing has changed beyond recognition over the last 20 or so years, with the rise of online magazines, e-zines, digital editions, e-editions, e-books, or whatever name is attributed to them. There have been many mixed, and very strong, feelings about whether this is a good thing and whether books will survive or are simply a dying breed, with commentators passionately arguing both sides.
The advent of the Kindle only sparked this further, with many seeing this as a greater reason to never pick up a physical book or venture into a library. The Kindle provides a convenient option for commuters/ travellers who may find it too heavy to carry a novel with them. More recently, of course, people are reading books and magazines on their mobile devices which, although perhaps not as preferable an option as the Kindle for reading, offers far more than just the ability to read on the go.
Mobile meets publishing
However, whatever the fate of books/magazines may have been, things have recently taken an unexpected turn with mobile entering the mix. This advancement was heralded with the launch of DRAFTED – the first consumer title to have been built to deliver an interactive content/advertising model.
Using blippar – a free app, readers have the ability to scan every item featured in the magazine, from clothes to events and locations, to find out more, access additional and exclusive information, and enter competitions.
New breed of reader
This marks the beginning of a new breed of reader, and a new way of reading and interacting with magazines. It combines the best of both worlds – print and online – and has the potential to revive print magazines. No longer will readers feel they are missing out on additional content and rewards by picking up a physical magazine – one of the benefits of an online magazine. Rather, they will have the luxury of turning the pages of a magazine and the luxury of sourcing additional content on their mobile phones, if they so wish.
No doubt this is only the beginning of the trend and others will follow suit. Far from the end of books and magazines, mobile is set to add a new dimension to such publications and enhance and change the overall experience. Offering such interactive content also provides the opportunity for mobile adverts and will encourage readers to shop and pay for goods on their mobile phones, through direct billing for example. This solves one of the main reasons cited by those who thought publishing was doomed to death; namely, the issue of how to make publishing profitable. Indeed, m-payments is set to come on in leaps and bounds in 2015 with the roll-out of ‘Zapp’, an m-payment provider that will give users an incredibly simple and safe way to make payments.
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