Thursday, January 13, 2011

@Gamer Magazine releases tablet version for the iPad; project is a joint project of Best Buy and Future US

Many companies have begun creating publishing and advertising products that make them, in essence, publishers. Major retailers, such as Walmart and Best Buy, have created their own in-store networks which both create content and sell advertising. AdAge recently wrote about Best Buy On, "a multichannel network filled with original editorial content spanning everything from how-to videos and gift guides to new-technology primers and behind-the-scenes looks at popular movies."
But retailers and manufacturers still turn to publishers occasionally to launch custom publishing projects, or in-store promotional publications. One project launched last summer was @Gamer Magazine, the result of a partnership between Best Buy and publisher Future US.

This new magazine was created in the more traditional way: the publisher produces the magazine, creating the content and selling the ads.
@GAMER is the essential
magazine for all gaming fans.
With exclusive reviews and
previews of the latest games
and hottest accessories across
all platforms, @GAMER is
the authority on gaming.

-- @Gamer Media Kit

Of course, custom publishing is dramatically changing. A custom magazine no longer needs to be simply an ad for the customer, it can be a commercially viable consumer magazine that while promoting the retailer (or manufacturer) appeals to the reader's interests beyond the scope of the relationship between reader and retailer.

But in the New Media environment it is not enough to simply publish a print magazine, a fully functioning website is to be expected. But what about mobile and tablet publishing?

Yesterday, the first tablet edition of @Gamer appeared in the iTunes App Store. The free app is a preview issue of the magazine, drawing its content from the first four print issues that have been previously published.

Click the screenshot at left to view
animated GIF of the in-article navigation.

The app weighs in at 150 MB, its total size reduced somewhat through only offering the tablet edition in landscape. While the magazine has some video, it is used sparingly. There are a ton of game screenshots used throughout the reviews, however, so the amount of interactivity is fairly high.

What is interesting about this app is the navigation. While the reader can swipe to go from page to page, buttons are also available if the reader prefers to read in a more e-reader style. Also, there is no scrolling here: buttons are used to reveal a second or third page of copy. Once the reader gets used to the concept, it works extremely well.