Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Trade journal Adweek launches a hybrid iPad edition launched into the Apple Newsstand

It is an open secret that the advertising, newspaper and magazine trade industry trade publications have been terribly behind when it comes to digital. None of the major titles have launched interesting mobile or tablet platform products – trailing the industries they are supposed to be leaders in.

But now Adweek, the advertising trade journal which is now published by Prometheus Global Media, has its first tablet edition. The new app, Adweek Magazine, is a hybrid app, at least for now.

The term hybrid app, which I have coined, means that the ads found inside the digital editions are the same as you'd see in print. In this case, because of the shape of the print edition of Adweek, the ads float a bit on the tablet's display.

The editorial pages, however, are reformatted for the iPad. This creates an easier to read digital magazine, and is then able to employ the scroll-within-a-story and swipe-to-the-next-story approach which is common with most natively designed digital magazines.
Adweek, as the name implies, has the problem of recurring weekly deadlines. Magazines like this sometimes take a purely replica approach to creating digital issues, but Adweek had done well here to produce a better digital magazine for its readers.

"Adweek readers – key industry thought leaders – are changing how they consume content, and tablets are increasingly becoming an indispensable information and entertainment too,' writes Adweek's editor James Cooper. "We want to change right along with them."

If you are outside the ad industry you may be pretty shocked at the price of admission. A monthly subscription to the iPad edition of Adweek is priced at $7.99, and annual subscription is $79.99. Individual issues are priced at $4.99 a piece. The print edition can be had for $99, so it is a modest discount.

Adweek's main competition is, of course, Advertising Age (or AdAge). AdAge has an aging mobile app produced by a third party in the App Store, and nothing available for the iPad. The publisher, Crain Communications, appears to have a fragmented, unfocused digital strategy. A couple primitive apps are in the App Store under is corporate name, while the only mobile apps come from that third party vendor.

AdAge may be the leader in print, but Crain appears little interested in the new digital platforms, creating huge opportunities for its smaller competitors.

Here is a brief walk-through the premier iPad edition of Adweek: