Canadian Magazine Industry News
19 May 2010,     TORONTO
Tablets are the new reality says Wayne MacPhail
In the first webinar from Magazines Canada, ‘Magazines on the iPad: Sidebar or Feature Story?’ media consultant Wayne MacPhail described the iPad and future tablets as the start of a new era for the magazine industry.

“The idea of computers not being as good as magazines because of things like they can't take them to the beach just seems silly now,” said MacPhail. “Publishers need to think of tablets as the new paper, in three to five years the devices will get thinner.”

MacPhail continued, saying those who dismiss the iPad is simply a big iPod Touch haven’t used it for themselves. “It is extremely engaging,” he said. “You become completely engaged with the content, unless you’ve used it you can’t appreciate its impact.”

The ability for publishers to tap into the playful aspect of the device is something MacPhail place huge emphasis on. “Get an iPad, use the games and think of the aspects you can pull out of it to use on your publications application,” he said. “The device has a very playful, almost childlike interface that is so engaging.” Making your application more than simply the same content as online or in print is what will set you apart, he said.

Creating content for the iPad or other tablets is not cheap though, said MacPhail so publishers need to ask themselves why they want to develop an application, or if the same thing could be done in HTML 5 online. “The cost of creating an application depends on what you want, but programmer’s cost about $1500 a day and the projects last about 3 to 4 weeks,” he said.

Another option is banding together with other publishers and creating a template on which to build your individual publications overlay. “I was speaking to a group of independent publishers recently and talked about banding them together to create a platform for which to build the individual publications from,” said MacPhail. “That way each publication is not reinventing the wheel. It’s silly for magazines like Vanity Fair and Time to be making their own platforms.”

The next webinar in the Magazines Canada series, ‘Getting Social: Using Social Media to Grow Your Brand’ is on June 17 and features technology journalist and author Amber Mac. For more information and to register, visit

— Val Maloney
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