Magazines Use the iPad as Their New Barker
A laundry list of open questions about Apple's iPad isn't keeping magazine publishers and advertisers from lining up for the launch of the tablet computer next week.Time magazine has signed up Unilever, Toyota Motor , Fidelity Investments and at least three others for
Shira Ovide and Suzanne Vranica
marketing agreements priced at about $200,000 apiece for a single ad spot in each of the first eight issues of the magazine's iPad edition, according to people familiar with the matter.
At Condé Nast Publications, Wired magazine is offering different levels of ad functionality depending on how many pages of ads a marketer buys, according to a person familiar with the matter. Advertisers that agree to buy eight pages of ads in a single issue of Wired magazine will be able to lace video and other extra features through the iPad version.Magazines largely are planning downloadable iPad applications that are near-replicas of the stories in the print versions, but they are demonstrating the new-media bells and whistles for advertisers: add-ons like videos, social-networking tools and navigation that take advantage of the large screen, touch technology and Internet connections of the tablet computer.
Magazine publishers see the device as crucial to their future as they scour for new ways to make money, with print advertising still under threat. Digital advertising has been a disappointment for many publishers, but with the iPad they feel they have a technology that best marries the splashy look and size of a full-page print ad with the cool interactive features of a digital ad—and the ability to count how many people saw it.
But the business model is unproven, and ad dollars will initially be a fraction of the industry's overall revenue. Hype over the iPad unveiling two months ago focused on selling subscriptions for the device, but no major magazines appear ready to do so yet, according to people familiar with the matter.
—Russell Adams contributed to this article.