Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson is set to unveil a new magazine built specifically as an app for the iPad at a press event on Tuesday in New York City.
We first caught wind of the magazine in July. AdAge (AdAge) reported that the magazine would focus on the entrepreneurial space, highlighting "new creative, business, travel and technology ideas" to an "upscale international audience," a la Fast Company and Wired.
The invitation for Tuesday's event, however, cites international culture, entertainment, design, business and travel among its list of themes, suggesting a different focus.
In fact, it sounds like this could simply be a digital in-flight magazine. Virgin already distributes a handful of printed magazines on its flights, including Seatback and entertainment title Electric!, which are handed out to customers rather than marketed to the general public.
The venture is nevertheless interesting in light of the number of publications that have created digital versions for the iPad, and the revenue publishers are commanding from advertisers (between $75,000 to $300,000 for a seasonal campaign, The New York Times reports).
That's not to mention the $30 million Rupert Murdoch/News Corp is investing in the forthcoming iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, rumored to launch in December.
The iPad and other tablet devices present an opportunity for publishing companies to create paid-for content without the costs of printing and distribution. Still, the bulk of advertising revenue for newspapers and magazines continues to come from print, and producing apps for the iPad can be extremely costly.
We'll have to wait and see whether Branson and Murdoch can drum up enough iPad advertising revenue to be profitable.
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