British tycoon Richard Branson has launched a glossy magazine exclusively for the iPad, getting the jump in the race to develop publications for the hot selling Apple device. Project, a monthly style and culture magazine developed by Branson’s Virgin Group and the British publisher Seven Squared, will cost 2.99 dollars (Rs200 approx) an issue and be sold through Apple’s online App Store.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and kicking at Virgin,” Branson told reporters at a Manhattan hotel launch event for Project, whose first cover features actor Jeff Bridges, star of the upcoming movie Tron: Legacy. “It’s a truly interactive digital magazine,” Branson said, adding that “it’s going to make advertising a hundred times more efficient.”
Branson’s unveiling of Project comes ahead of the expected launch in the next few weeks of News Corp’s new digital newspaper for the iPad called The Daily.
Project editor-in-chief Anthony Noguera, described the new digital publication as “an agenda-setting magazine.” The first edition features articles about celebrated Danish chef Rene Redzepi and another on Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the videogame Gran Turismo. “Many of the people (featured in the magazine) are not household names but they should be,” Noguera said.
He said Project will take advantage of the full capabilities of the iPad’s multi-media format. “On every page there will be links to expand the story,” he said. The article about Jeff Bridges, for example, includes pictures from Tron: Legacy and clicking on each photo provides a commentary by the actor about the scene in question.
The first edition also features advertisements from automobile manufacturers, a brewery, a credit card company and a consumer electronics firm. Noguera added that although so much news is available on the Internet for free consumers will pay for quality. “It’s a quality piece of editorial,” he said of Project. Though only available for the iPad for the moment, Project will come to the iPhone and other tablet computers as well.