Thursday, April 4, 2013

Infocus Australasia: New photography tablet-only magazine from CustomMade Media Australia uses content licensed from print publisher

The second of two tablet-only magazines on photography, both from Australia, and both using the Oomph platform, comes from a custom publisher using content from a traditional print magazine publisher.

Infocus Australasia is a beautiful native tablet magazine that makes sure each tab page contains some sort of animation, embedded links or multimedia content – even the ads, which are all interactive. Much like the apps that come from the Mag+ platform, the apps that use Oomph are remarkably impressive. Maybe they are not all that way – after all, much of this depends on the publisher and their designers – but I'm impressed, nonetheless.

This new tablet-only magazine contains content that is published under license from Dennis Publishing Limited. by the custom publishing company CustomMade Media Australia. At first, being unfamiliar with the company, I assumed that this would be another of those replica editions that ended up appearing under the app maker's name. But upon opening the app, and seeing that it was powered by Oomph, I knew I was in for a treat.

Both the Newsstand app and its contents are free, which has me scratching my head a little. But readers will eat it up.

"Hello and welcome to the very first issue of InFocus, Australia's newest photography magazine," writes editor Ben Hosking in the introductory column.

"Coming direct to your iPad each and every month, InFocus offers you a photography magazine experience like never before, with dynamic and interactive exclusive content you always wished had been possible with traditional printed magazines."

It would be interesting to know how much content contained here is original, and how much made have appeared elsewhere – it's possible I'm misunderstanding how this tablet-only magazine was put together (should the folks at CustomMade Media read this and feel the urge to write a whitepaper on the project I'd love to post it here).**

The premiere issue inside the app weighs in at 327 MB is a pretty fast download. It is designed to be read in portrait, though as you can see in the video below, the video content embedded into the ads can be viewed in landscape.

Whether every editorial page needs the animated headlines will be a matter of choice. Cutting back here, especially if the magazine uses more video, would save a few Mb of file space. But I doubt readers will complain as the app is not over the top, and it is definitely very well designed.

** Keith Barrett, managing editor at CustomMade Media Australia, did respond to this post and provided some good information about what licensed content the magazine is using:

"Yes, we do use licensed content from Dennis, and that amounts to three pieces in each edition – the two ‘Tutorials’, and the ‘Project’. These pieces of copy are generic (it doesn’t matter if you’re in the US, UK on Australia, the anatomy of a DSLR is the same; the same applies to shooting a silhouette or any of our Project pieces). So, we licensed some content that allow us to cover off the basics."