We would hazard a highly unscientific guess that no group of people are placing more hope in the growth of the iPad and other tablets as magazine publishers. Sure, folks ad ad agencies are thrilled about the opportunities the new form gives them, but their whole industry doesn't seem to depend on the continued success of this new delivery tool. And in all the excitement to win with the new market, publishers may be finding themselves scrambling to keep up with a new type of production schedule. Paid Content is one of the best places to watch new developments in the industry. And recently David Kaplan wrote, at Paid Content, about some of the challenges magazines are facing in their app-development frenzy. Here's what they wrote about Sports Illustrated:
On top of developing apps for each of Sports Illustrated’s weekly editions, the Sports Illustrated Group has done about 20 additional apps this year and two books with “enhanced” for iPad editions. Yet the SI Group hasn’t added much in the way of personnel to handle the additional workload—just two new art department staffers, one for tablets and one for print. Executives say rather than adding more people, the key is getting the production routine down.
The major change was scheduling. For a lot of magazines, the work on the iPad version happens when the print version is completed. “For years at SI, we worked a four-day schedule, long days on weekends,” said Bob Kannell, director of operations for the sports and news group at Time Inc. “We’ve had to move the schedule around and so now we have fewer staffers in on, say, a Thursday.”
It has also tried to economize by not producing apps for every different device and screen standard. It is betting on two standards in particular—the iPad, which has a screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and the Galaxy, which is 16:9 aspect ratio—and believes that apps produced for those two formats can be scaled to work with other devices. “Designing for 16:9 and 4:3 will save art departments in the long run. If we have to custom tailor each device it would kill us because there are literally more devices than days of the week,” says Chris Hercik, creative director for SI Group.
Read about other magazines and watch an informative slide show here.
Filed under: marketing, paid content, magazines, digital marketing, Sports Illustrated, iPad, digital advertising, conde nast, tablets, apps, david kaplan, magazine ads